When Surrender leads to Victory!

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 Matthew 26:39 “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

More times than I can count, I have asked God to “take this cup from me.” Change my path, decrease my burden, ease my suffering. No rest for the weary as the saying goes.

I find solace in the fact that, even Jesus, bowed before His father and begged him, not once, or even twice, but three times, to change the plan, redirect the path he was to tread. (Matt 26:44 “So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.”)

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A Soul Never Handicapped!

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Another sunrise; yet today appears to follow the path of the hundred, actually many more, days before. Lyme, still very present, dictates what his body will do.  Seeing the sun is a treasure. Gazing at his beautiful wife, children, nothing less than a gift, a miracle. A long time friend with a long time physical fight!

This Easter season did not reflect the chaos of planning, shaping and rehearsing as in years past.  That didn’t stop his desire.  His intent, his longing, was to engage in worship of his Christ, his Savior in spite of what his handicapped body would say.

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The Other side of the Bridge!

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Courageous, to say the least, was this transformative expression of devotion. A momentous parade of lives crossed over from death to life, from dark to light, from heaviness of lies to freedom of truth.  Slowly and methodically, each person crossed over the wooden bridge that spanned the stage to fearlessly declare that they are letting go and letting God. Easter’s story of sacrifice and resurrection was spoken, for some a carbon copy as told last time, for others a fantastically timed revelation of their buried or even denied need for a savior.

The last few minutes of this portrayal of renewal and rebirth signifies a new beginning, a healed heart, a refreshed soul.  (Click on link below to experience it yourself.)

Mine was not a physical bridge, nor was it a public demonstration.  I sat on my unkempt bed on the lower level of the wooden bunk. The soul altering message given by the camp speaker penetrated deeply as phrases of truth lingered in my mind. Awakened and now aware of the black hole in my spirit, a decision needed to be made.  Sin and shame are hard to release but I now knew that they weren’t mine to carry.  They were His.

What seemed endless at the time was a flood of emotions that escaped the prison I had made. Yet, it was not in my control. Overtaken, overwhelmed I was as the Spirit infiltrated my being.  Guilt, grief, deceit and all other impurity within, drained from my soul.  A vision of ungodly residue being removed as I “crossed the bridge” from death to life.  High on the Spirit, nothing could weigh me down.

Then life happened.  As it often has a tendency to do, it knocked me off my mountain top and sent me tumbling to a valley of shadows and death. It wasn’t real, lacked genuineness or worst yet it left me were thoughts I contemplated. I had left camp, determined to prevail, adamant to remain in His presence so how could I now, feel so…lost, defeated.

Naivety? Foolishness?  Stubborn independence?  Doesn’t matter, the fact is I was unprepared for what was on the other side.  I assumed my walk of faith led me to a destination rather than beginning of a whole new journey. One that needs daily guidance and direction.  A pilgrimage full of unseen obstacles and attacks accompany the joy and freedom.  After all, a “troll” did everything he could to keep us from crossing the bridge and he doesn’t give up when we make it to the other side.  There is a map, weapons, a compass that keeps us on the path to holiness.  Wisdom, encouragement and truth from His word uncovers what we need to weather the storms as we drudge forward, find confidence in Christ and wholeheartedly understand that we are never alone.

Heaven is dancing for all who have crossed the bridge. Now lets do everything we can to continue moving forward and grow in knowledge and faith of Jesus Christ until the journey is complete.