Surrounding my patio is a thin strip of dirt. Big enough to dream of planting, but not so big that I will become overwhelmed in the planning. Digging my hands into the wet soil, with its richness and potential, is a love that has followed me since childhood. Knowing that a handful of seeds can grow deep roots and produce such beautiful goodness on the other side is the framework for our walk to the cross this week.
Just as creation and the Fall accompany our journey to the cross, our walk is not complete without redemption. It establishes the call Jesus fulfilled as He walked His own path to the cross and sacrificed Himself creating an overflow of redemption for each of us.
The cyclical growth of creation lays the foundation for our discovery of redemption’s journey to the cross. There is the planting and the slow growth of roots that produce blossoms that then open wide with abundant fruit. I see this mirror my own life. I also must develop the innermost parts of my heart to create an abundance that creates an overflow of fruit for others to enjoy.Creation lays the foundation for our discovery of redemption's journey to the cross. #TellHisStory Click To Tweet
My own story of redemption is one of stopping and starting. Just as plants grow, produce fruit, and then grow dormant, my walk to the cross is not without hesitancy, abundance, and desolation. There are days I walk with certainty toward my Father and other days my forward progress leads me astray. The growth I experience is slow, but over the years looks steady and sure because my eyes look to God first, more often than not.
Throughout the Bible, we find words spoken about redemption. It is the gift Jesus left behind as He sacrificed Himself on the cross. Every good gift comes from God and redemption is the way to freedom. Until we plant our roots down deep and allow them to grow with nourishment from God’s Word and truth, we will not have the foundation to grow a surplus of love and grace. I seem to learn this the hard way. I am in a season of re-learning and as a result some of my roots are coming loose.
When looking to the cross, I see the end and immediately begin forming plans and outlining details to see how quickly I can reach the destination. I forget that it is in the falling and getting back up again, I achieve more growth than I ever could by rushing past the lessons that God leaves along the way. In my hurry, I miss the slow growth of salvation, the hope of eternity, and the love of a Savior that produce the deep roots I need to survive. In the slow growth, I give myself the gift of time to receive God’s abundance. My focus is on how I am going to get there, not on the blessing of new life in Christ that will help me persevere more than my own power could ever help me.
The truth I need to walk this journey can only from God. If I slow down, I find all I need in His Word and it is a salve for my deep wounds and richness for the soil that bears my roots. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says,
For it is not from man that we draw our life but from God as we are being joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. And now he is our God-given wisdom, our virtue, our holiness, and our redemption.
My life and dare I say yours is richer because of God-given wisdom. When we choose to follow Jesus, all He asks is obedience–a yes, rather than a no, open hands ready to receive instead of arms crossed in defiance, and faith as small as a mustard seed. It seems doable, but then again I am the one who told you I struggle along the way.
But God promises love, grace, and new mercies even on the days you and I struggle. His invitation to walk with Him never ends.God never stops inviting us to walk with Him to the cross. #redemption #TellHisStory #walktothecross Click To Tweet
If I can leave you with any encouragement, it is twofold:
Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:38-39
And these words from Kris Camealy in her book, Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement:
The only way to it is through it. One the road through Redemption we’re forced to see the underbelly of our humanness, the struggle we pretend doesn’t exist–the weakness we’re afraid to show anyone. The blessing and challenge of the journey come through the revelations God gives us about ourselves–and our sins.
Together, let’s pray as we walk our own path to the cross, that we are open to receiving the gifts that Jesus’ death on the cross provided for us.
Together we are redeemed by our loving Savior!
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