Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Facing Trouble Head-On ~ A Lenten Reflection

"Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced.   Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame."  ~ Isaiah 50:7, NIV

Here we are at Holy Week.  If you haven't drawn close to the One who lived and died for you, don't miss the opportunity in these last days before Easter!  You won't regret it!

As I personally meditate on this week, one of the things that leaves me almost unspeakably in awe, is the fact that Jesus knew the trouble He would be facing as He rode into Jerusalem, and He moved forward into it anyway.  You may already be aware of it, but when a leader came into a town in biblical times riding a horse, it meant war.  If he came on a donkey, it meant peace.  Here rode our humble Savior right into the face of trouble, being praised and cheered by those who would curse Him only days later.  I don't know about you, but I certainly would have trouble coming in peace.  I would want to be harsh, angry and vindictive with a crowd like that!  Yet, Jesus showed us His unmatchable supremacy by restraining His power, setting aside His broken heart, and doing what was necessary to save us.  What a God!

Jesus' example begs the question of me, How do YOU face your troubles?  Do you walk into them and through them, head-on, with dignity, gentleness and love?  When you face unspeakable trials, do you focus on the eternal purpose or do you succumb to your emotions?  Do you reflect the true glory of God by behaving contrary to the way the world would?  Or do you lash out at all of those around you who have responded to your trial in disappointing ways?

Parents of children with special needs seem to endlessly be walking into trouble.  Whether it's the crisis of a hospital stay, troubles with treatments or challenges with school, the stress never seems to end.  Even daily life can be a trial that most others will never understand.  We are sleep deprived, financially stretched, socially outcast, verbally assaulted, harassed by doctors and insurance companies.  Most days, merely by getting out of bed, we're heading into some sort of unique situation that requires creative problem-solving or teamwork.  As we reflect this week on the One who gives us hope, will we set our face like flint and walk holding His hand through our troubles?  He has more than proven Himself more than worthy of our full trust!

With every trial we face, we can ask ourselves, Will I let it be wasted or will I let this heartache serve an eternal purpose?  Granted, we are imperfect, sinful humans.  But will we, in the final analysis, be able to look back at our challenges and say, I let the One who calmed the wind and the waves get me through them!  What a blessing it is when we can know for certain that our suffering was not in vain!  And each difficulty we come through with God's help allows us to set our face like flint for the next one.  If He's seen us through before, He will again.

It's a lighthearted stress-release to roll our eyes and wish ourselves to be on a beach eating bonbons while enjoying tropical breezes.  As long as it's a humorous coping mechanism and not a permanent detour to an attitude of bitter entitlement, it's okay.  Venting to a trusted friend or being comforted by loved ones is a healthy way to deal with things.  But our goal should be to become like Jesus in ever-increasing measure, knowing that we can do everything through Him because He gives us the strength.  (See 2 Corinthians 3:18 & Philippians 4:13)

As you go through these final days before Easter, quiet yourself and notice how Jesus faced His certain death head-on.  Sit in admiration of His unmatched courage.  Soak in the overwhelming gratitude that rolls over you as you consider what He did for you.  And renew your commitment to follow the Savior who was undaunted by even the most horrendous adversity.  With what He faced, is there anything that He cannot help you to face?

Pray:  Jesus, I stand in awe as I take notice of how you faced trouble head-on.  I trust You to get me through anything I face.  Help me, by the power of Your Holy Spirit to have inner peace and fortitude with every challenge I must walk into.

~ Barb Dittrich

No comments:

Post a Comment