This week we solemnly remember Jesus’ prayer of surrender given in the garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal with a kiss, the denial of affiliation, the horrible beating, cruel mocking and scourging, whipping and taunting, humiliation and degradation and ultimately crucifixion all of which Jesus endured on “Good Friday.” It is Holy Week.
As Jesus looked over the city of Jerusalem, He, it would appear, tuned out the cheering crowd, tuned out the loud Hosannas, tuned out the apparent voices of favor and proclaimed
Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.'
In the work entitled, In Search of Heroes: Tragedy to Triumph, the story is told of how famed deaf, blind and mute Helen Keller was born a bright and lively infant, but at the age of 19 months tragically developed a fever which left her blind and deaf and for a time, mute. Her parents, obviously devastated sought out the best help possible for their daughter. They heard of Perkins School for the Blind in Boston and there found a brilliant, compassionate young teacher named Anne Sullivan. Upon graduation from the school, Anne came to live with the Kellers. Working tirelessly with Helen, Anne frequently met with failure and frustration, but undaunted, continued to work with her until one day she had a break through. Helen would go from learning how to say “water” to gaining a command of the English language, as well as other languages. She ultimately went on to become a great writer.
Once when asked to give her thoughts on growing old, this is what Helen had to say:
All my life I have tried to avoid ruts, such as doing things my ancestors did before me, or leaning on the crutches of other people's opinion, or losing my childhood sense of wonderment. I am glad to say I still have a vivid curiosity about the world I live in...it is as natural for me to believe that the richest harvest of happiness comes with age as to believe that true sight and hearing are within, not without.... --Helen Keller, on being asked about growing older (In, In Search of Heroes: Tragedy to Triumph – Helen Keller)
“True sight and hearing are within, not without…”
Are we missing the things that make for peace? Is Jesus weeping over our lives because we are missing it? Are we blind and deaf to the moving of God’s Holy Spirit? This week we mourn the tragedy of denial, betrayal and crucifixion. Next week we celebrate the triumph of victory over death, hell and the grave. But in between this week and next week, we again have an opportunity to prayerfully conduct a deep introspection into our own hearts, our own, souls, our own lives and ask the question, “Is Jesus weeping over my life because I am missing the things that make for peace…” We need to ask ourselves are we missing opportunities to reach out and help somebody, heal somebody, tell somebody about the good news that Jesus died for our sins and that we can be saved by grace through faith.
Are we missing the things that make for peace? Are we arguing about things that don’t really matter in the larger scheme of life? Are we carrying around grudges that we should have given over to the throne a long time ago… are we doggedly holding to our own opinions and perceptions about things without hearing another person out? Are we so wrapped up in our own lives that we cannot see someone who needs a word of encouragement, a lift up out of despair… Are we missing the things that make for peace?
Our triumph is wrapped up in our willingness to see Jesus for who He is and to let him rule and reign in our lives.
Our triumph is wrapped up in our willingness to let the Lord have his way in our hearts, in our homes, in our families, in our church, in our communities. Our triumph is wrapped up in our willingness to move as the Spirit says move to work while it is day, to move in prayer, to seek the Lord while He may be found.
Our answers to life’s dilemmas are wrapped up in our willingness to surrender our will to the Master…to let go of some things that we have guarded like gold. We must surrender our hearts, our souls, our minds to Jesus, allowing him to purge us, to redirect our thinking, to reshape and remold us like the potter does the clay.
Jesus invites us to open our eyes, our ears, our minds, our hearts to “see” all that He has for us…the blessings of hope, healing, forgiveness, redemption, deliverance, love and peace.
During this season, may you see the things that the Lord has given for your peace...
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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,