Tonight I watched the Passion of the Christ movie...yes again. I felt moved to watch it so I ordered it on netflix and to my mailbox it came. I love this movie. Not only does it portray the suffering that Jesus endured...for me and for us all but it shows him as a regular person. Don't misunderstand me. Jesus is the Son of God. But He came to earth in human form. He was susceptible to all of the same temptations, pressures, and pain that we all face. It shows his mother, Mary. And as a mother I cannot imagine what it must have been like to see her son endure so much.
But it made me think. Pastor Chris said in his message this weekend (yes, I was listening) patience takes a lot of strength. To have patience takes strength and power. strength over your emotions. Jesus was so patient with so many. He was patient with cheaters, adulterers, liars, persecutors, prostitutes. To have so much patience took great strength, and He would need that strength on His journey to the cross. Before He was led away He went away to pray. He prayed with such passion and he prayed with strength. He knew what He would have to go through. He knew the humiliation He would have to face. He could have at any point lost his patience and said, Father it's not worth it. I'm done. But He didn't. Because He was strong.
Remember, he was here on earth in human form. He received this strength from God. Because he asked for it. That leads me to believe that this strength that He received is within reach for us all. The word says "ask and you will receive". The next time I'm running low on patience...I'm praying for that kind of strength. I'm praying that God's spirit will fill me with so much strength that I will be able to endure and withstand whatever He has for me.
Jesus had to endure cruel torture, he was made to carry his cross on which he would be crucified. We all have what we think is torture in our lives. We all have a cross to bear. Let's embrace the cross. We embrace the cross because this is what has been given us. As Jesus endured so much and carried his cross, through it all he prayed for those who were persecuting Him, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." I have to ask myself, how is my attitude when I'm taking up my cross? how is yours? Are we loving, patient, FORGIVING?
I long for the day when I can have it all together. In the meantime, I'm just trying to get through this life with a little bit of integrity, humility, and grace. Father, forgive me, for I know not what I do. But I'm trying to learn. As I learn, I thank you so much for your patience and grace. I thank you for your mercy. I ask that you show me areas of my life, and attitudes that you want to change. I ask for your strength in me so that I can change them.
May I never forget 1 Cor. 13: 7-8 Love...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.
Thank you for that kind of love and that kind of strength.
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