Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Boldly I Approach the Throne of Grace ~ A New Post by @ShelleyHendrix

There has been nothing in my life that God has taken from me, or allowed to be taken from me, that hasn't resulted in something better in return. Not like the picture going around social media depicting Jesus asking a child for her small teddy bear so He can give her a bigger one which He hides behind His back - as though bigger always means better.

While I understand and appreciate what the artist is trying to convey (that Jesus doesn't ask us to give Him anything that He doesn't already have something better ready to give us in return), anyone who has suffered genuine loss knows that few losses can actually be replaced. 

Does a new puppy replace a dog who lived with a family for 15 years?
Does a new spouse replace the one a widow or widower grieves?
Does a new child or pregnancy replace a child who has died?

Of course not. We may find comfort in the new and hope in the new and joy in the new. But that doesn't equal a replacement. We are forever changed by and through loss.

What Jesus offers to us, in the midst and wake of loss is something better than what we often gravitate towards in our desire for comfort from pain or avoidance of any additional pain. 

That "something better" is rarely some tangible item or new relationship or anything I can hold onto with my hands or see with my eyes; but rather a truer sense of His goodness and grace and a deeper, richer, truer trust in Him. 

I know this. I've experienced this. I trust this. 

And yet, I struggle with this. I tend to resist whatever causes me pain and when it seems that God is the One causing the pain, my knee-jerk reaction in self-protection is to try to figure out what I must do to get Him to change His mind so that He'll fix life for me and release me from suffering.

And then I remember...

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence (or "boldly approach the Throne of Grace"), so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

(Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV)

The Long Season of Broken Dreams

As I stumble along this unlit pathway in this season, and with a hurting and grieving heart, I approach His throne of Grace with boldness - not in what He might or might not do - not with my hands clasped around my prayer requests or a list of demands - but because there's no place I belong more than right up close to where He is. And there's no place He'd rather be than with me, trusting Him... 

Relinquishing control and resting in His grace once more means that:

  • I can choose with my will to let go of things outside of my control. 
  • I can rest my weary heart against His and let Him nurture and care for and protect me in the midst of the storm. 
Why was John the only one who got to lay upon Jesus' chest? Perhaps because he was the only one willing to try it.

Abba Father, Please give us the grace and the courage to make ourselves completely vulnerable to you as you already know more about us than we know ourselves. As we come to you just as we are, and as we pour out whatever is inside of us to you, may we willingly yield control to you; and may you increase our faith in you with each breath that we breathe. In Jesus' Name, Amen

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