Jackpots or Jesus?

brokenhearts-665x750Heartache used to be a word I knew; now it is my daily experience.  When Bev died at first I cried, deep wrenching sobs, sorrow seemed to come up through my body starting at my toes!  With time’s passing, the sobs turned into a persistent ache. Things remind me of her, memories come to visit uninvited, and grief picks up a sharp knife that it drives through my heart.  There are some tears, but mostly the grief has settled like a stone on my chest; crushing, hurting, relentless!

But, I am not without hope.
Jesus speaks to my soul in His promises of the Great Reversal.  I love the words, though I freely admit that I only own them by faith a large part of the time right now.  He says,

“You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all.
God’s kingdom is there for the finding.
You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry.
Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal.
You’re blessed when the tears flow freely.
Joy comes with the morning.
” (Luke 6:20-21, The Message)

How desperately I seek the Kingdom, long for my soul to be fed, and wait for the morning’s joy!  Much of what I have loved for all of my life is beyond my reach now, a life I enjoyed lost for all time. I am tempted by despair, but the Lord’s words remind me that there is yet life, different, but still life.  So, I choose to hope, to keep an open heart, to pray expectantly for a new dawn.

Over the last few days, many of us have laughed about a PowerBall jackpot in excess of $1.5 billion, a sum that we cannot imagine. More than one conversation that I have overheard has included dreams about what that kind of money would allow the person to do. I joined the fantasy for a while, too.  But, a part of me knows that such a windfall would likely be poison for my soul. Why? Because wealth is evil? Not at all.  Because money is intrinsically bad? No! It is the illusion of independence that such wealth creates that is spiritually toxic.  We are created to know and love our God, but when we are rich, well-fed, and living in sunshine it is too easy to push God to the periphery of life, to forget that He is our life.  You know I’m right, don’t you?

So, if there is any consolation in my present sorrow, it is knowing that my heartache is an opening for the Spirit, a tear in my being through which He can pour Himself into my heart.  My prayer is that I will learn a new depth of devotion that helps me to properly enjoy and use the blessings that I enjoy in our stable, rich, resourceful nation as God, in His revelation of His will and purpose, rebuilds my life.

Are you sorrowful today? Wait and pray.
Are you tempted by despair and anger? Be still before Him.
Are you wanting to escape the ache? Discipline your desires to look higher.

And remember that Jesus is an Advocate Who shares your pain. He empathizes and stands with you!  Here is the word from the Word.

“He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!” (Isaiah 53:3-5, NLT)

“That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NLT)

___________

Christ Above Me

Bread of life from heaven,

Lover of my soul,

Peace of God so ever present,

I surrender my control to…

 

Mercy everlasting,

Tenderness divine,

Word of God so ever healing.

I surrender heart and mind to…

 

Christ above me, Christ beside me.

Christ within me ever guiding,

Christ behind me, Christ before,

Christ. my love, my life, my Lord.

George T. Searcy | John Chisum
© 1999 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (IMI))
CCLI License # 810055

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