Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Week Fifty-Two - Whine! Whine! Whine!

Beside the Well

“I didn’t get what I wanted,” whined Suzie as she stomped into the room.
            “What do you mean?” asked Mother, “You got loads presents, more than
most children ever receive.  Why would you think you needed more?”           
            “Well, I got loads of stuff, Mom, but I had asked Santa for a Cinderella dress, and I only got a Belle and Sophia one.       
            “And you aren’t thankful for those, Suzie?”          
            “Well, yeah, sorta, but they aren’t really what I wanted.” Suzie blurted as she left the room crying.
            My story pales compared to what I want to share today, but hopefully, you will get the idea.  I will start at Hebrews 5:7 with the Lord Jesus in floods of crying and tears as He pours out His request to God the Father.  We know the words from the Gospels, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.”  This was His prayer.
            My attention had previously been called to verse 8 where it says, “though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.”  I have often meditated on what it meant that the Lord Jesus – fully man and fully God – had to learn to obey.  With all creation is under his sway and power, He “humbled himself and became obedient to the cross.”  He learned to obey His Father.  That still baffles me!
            But today, verse seven popped out loudly.  Jesus was begging the Father for a different course, a different will, and a different outcome.  He wailed before God at the plight before Him.  when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” God could change things.  He heard Jesus’ prayer, but even his Sonship could not change God’s will—so Jesus obediently submitted.  In so doing, verse nine says, “he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey.  He is our example in obedience.
            That lands us in Hebrews 12:2, doesn’t it?  “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.”  There is always a reward on the other side of obedience.
            Read on.  Hebrews 12:3, 4 have been two verses God has used many times in my life when I have been bewailing my plight.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood…” My plight is minuscule compared to Jesus’.  When I find myself in floods of crying and tears because I am unhappy with what God has given or not given me, I am reminded I have not yet shed blood over the situation.  Crucifixion is not my calling. I am called to obedience.  That can really sting!
            Hebrews 12 then moves on to a discourse about the chastening or correction of God and a warning about bitterness in verse 15.  Then, in verse 17 we come back to Jesus’ prayer request, “For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”  Do you see it?  Jesus’ request was rejected, though he cried and cried.

            Accepting God’s will may sometimes bring us to tears; but the issue is not the path, it is the obedience.  Hebrews 12 finishes with “…whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” (v. 28)  Jesus learned how to submit and was rewarded.  We, too, need to learn the lesson and blessing of obedience instead of being pouting princesses.

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