Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Nails in the Long and Winding Road

“Then he {Jesus} said to them all:
‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily
and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,
but whoever loses their life for me will save it.’”
(Luke 9:23-24 NIV)

I started writing about my long and winding road back in March of 2009.  And like the song, it’s been a wild and windy night.  And like all winding roads, the turns in the path have kept me from seeing the end of it.  Where was I going?  What was this road leading me to?  I just kept walking, or standing, or crouching in a bend somewhere behind a rock to cry for a little bit.
God always got me up and walking again, but to where I didn’t know.  Oh, I know all roads for the believer lead to God Himself.  Though He’s promised to be on the road with me, there’s always a bigger revelation of who He is and of who I am in Him along the way.
But I’m beginning to catch a glimpse of what lies at the end of that road, and I don’t necessarily like it.  It’s fuzzy at first, but as time goes on, something starts to come into view.  It’s tall, it’s crude and it’s ugly.  It’s a cross.  It’s my cross. 

No one stands there to force me onto it.  But God is there to help me up, to be my strength as I crucify myself.  The nails are what I’ve been picking up along the way.  Every dream demolished is a nail.  Every time I’ve been misunderstood, every new body part that decides to start screaming with pain, every sleepless night, every rejection has been a nail, an opportunity to kill the flesh.

And I can throw those nails across the valley and run off the path, away from the cross, which would be the easiest thing to do.  I can hold onto my so-called right to be understood, or to have my dream or what have you.  That doesn’t mean I would get them, it just means I’d get resentful and bitter that I didn’t have them, because they are my rights.  Right?

Or I can give up my rights, climb up on the cross, with God beside me, and use those nails to die to myself.
I give up my right to be understood, or even heard…   Wham!

I give up my right to have my prayers answered in my way, in my time…   Wham!

I give up my dreams…  Wham! 

I give up my right to ever, ever, ever sleep through the night again…   Wham! 

I give up my right to be pain free…   Wham!

I give up my life…    

That’s what I want to do.  And if I do, if I get up on that cross and die, God promises to raise me to a life that is more full of life than I had before because then He can fill me up.  I die, He lives. And when He lives in and through me, all His dreams for me can be realized. 

And tomorrow I’ll have to get up and do it all over again. 

But someday, some bright day, the long, long night will be over, all the dying will be done, and all that’ll be left to do is live forever. 

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, friend. I will read this again and again to remind myself of how far I have come and how far I still have to go. Thanking God that He lives in me. I am unworthy of His beautiful sacrifice. I am called to the cross with Him.


Thanks for sharing!