When '"Looking In" is the Only Option....

I haven't driven since sometime before December 22nd.

I've only been in a car three or four times since then to leave our house.

Clean pajamas are my daily wardrobe. 

I've had visitors so thankfully I've stayed connected to the planet, but mostly I've been connected to me.......surrounded by books and consumed with my own mind's ramblings, I've been looking in more than I've been looking out.

Keeping my pain under control has become my daily goal.

Realizing that God has taken me to what seems like the lowest level of humility when it comes to my recovery is a daily reminder when friends show up to help me.

I'm now reading Watchman Nee's book The Normal Christian Life which I am going to honestly admit is almost over my head.  Nee was a leader in bringing Christianity to China and spent the last 20 years of his life in prison being found guilty of a huge number of false charges.   He died in prison in 1972.

I've read the first few chapters and been beautifully reminded of the fact that what Jesus did on the cross has totally changed the condition of mankind.

As I venture into another year of trying to read through the Bible, I realize that very quickly I will be leaving Adam, Noah, and Abraham and venturing into the long, difficult readings about animal sacrifices.  I'm not going to lie.  These passages bother me.  I find myself wincing as I read about the blood of spotless lambs being sprinkled out for the sins of men.  I close my eyes many times when the Bible speaks of altars and consuming fires and the pleasing aroma these sacrifices bring to God.

I wonder why it all had to play out like this.

I wonder why blood had to be so important.

And then I think "what else symbolizes life so perfectly?"  Blood is so alive when it is flowing through us and so not alive when it is poured out for us.

I am sure that when the Old Testament people brought their sacrifices they winced and closed their eyes too.  Watching the life leave something because of what they had done........that had to be difficult and painful.  Much more than simply offering a bundle of hay or a bushel of tomatoes. No, God knew the sacrifice had to be offered in such a way as to be just that...

a sacrifice.

I can give up a lot of things.

But to watch someone suffer because of what I have done - now that takes "giving up something" to a whole new level.

And that's the power of the cross and the significance of Jesus' blood being poured out for us.

Jesus gave up His life for us.

I'm not sure if there is one particular reason why God has pulled me out of the busyness of life for a season, but I am sure that while He has I want to make the most of this opportunity to understand Him more and love Him more.

I'll share more from my readings as I work my way through them.

For today, I just wanted to ask you to take a few minutes and look inside yourself and think about what Jesus' death on the cross means to you personally.

The shedding of an innocent man's blood for your sins.

No one can say that He deserved what happened to Him.  He was sinless.

Yet, He took our sins and literally allowed them to be nailed to a tree.


So we could get back what Adam's sin had taken away. 

Our chance at redemption.

For today, I think that understanding Jesus' death at a deeper level is the gift of having time to "look in" as my only option.

Thankful for each of you and what we share because of His sacrifice,


Anonymous Rose said...

Thank you for sharing your soul searching, Tammy. Here is a prayer for meditating about Jesus and His sacrifice for us:

Prayer Before A Crucifix
BEHOLD, O good and sweetest Jesus,
I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight,
and with the most fervent desire of my soul
I pray and beseech Thee
to impress upon my heart
lively sentiments of faith,
hope and charity,
with true repentance for my sins
and a most firm desire of amendment:
whilst with deep affection and grief of soul
I consider within myself
and mentally contemplate Thy five most precious Wounds,
having before mine eyes that which David, the prophet,
long ago spoke in Thine own person concerning Thee,
my Jesus: “They have pierced My hands and My feet,
they have numbered all My bones.”

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