Today is Good Friday. I hate this day. I run visions of the Passion of the Christ movie in my head, I see blood, tears, and mockery. I pondered last night how this Easter season could mean something new for me...for my family. In years past, it was the remembrance of loss of someone I loved, the marker in time of nights and days of planning services for others to enjoy...for others to be ratified by...a time of reflection I suppose, but short lived as is for most. I wanted this year to be different. I am married and have 2 kids, and I feel the responsibilities on my shoulders have never been heavier. They press on me as if to say..."Do something..."
I feel compelled to be different, to do something, to feel something...
In my devotions and searching for how this Friday can be any type of "Good" I came across a book that I had started, but hadn't really gotten around to reading much of or finishing for that matter. It annoyed me that there was just another flash of incomplete in my life, but I decided that I was up and I would give it a few minutes of my time.
Sacred Obsession...the title was not intriguing to me, and once I started reading a few pages, I was reminded of why I put it down the first time so quickly...conviction...arousal of anxiety, and fear...
Oh yes, that was the message I clearly remember from the first time picking up this book. I decided to proceed...
After reading 80 pages or so, I was starting to feel some hope...hope that whatever my obsession is...you know the one robing you of the Joy of Christ, may it be greed, food, addiction, or abuse of some kind, today is the day for death. A "Good" death I suppose. A time for change, a time for refocus, a time to be set free.
I read and read and read until I heard the footsteps of my son running down the hallway. When he climbed up in my chair needing a hug after dropping a heavy book on his toe, I felt compelled once again to "Do something." This little boy was looking to me for comfort, reassurance that everything would be okay. I needed to make sure that in my power, in my conviction, it would be. How could I point him to the Lord when I was obsessed with something draging me so far from him?
Today, I chose to admit, confess, and nail my secret obsession to the cross. I will let it die with Jesus tonight, along with all my sins past and those to come. I will mark this date in 2008 as a dying of old and a birthing of new in my life...for the Jesus I serve, for the family he so graciously has given me, and for the value of myself...which I am still trying to accept.
How about you? Do you have some secret obsession? The kind that seduces you with the promise of pleasure, only to take you to a place of remorse and shame.
Psalm 34:11-22 says:
Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help...The Lord hears his people when thy call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles...The righteous person faces many troubles, but he Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!...The Lord will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
These verses speak of revival, and we all know that revival does not come with out a cost. The cost is holiness. Becky Tirabassi proposes in her book that When we are ready to pay the price of holiness, as the psalmist puts it: "Turn away from evil..." not for a season, but as a lifestyle--to live and love a holy God, then non and no thing will be able to stop revival!
May this be a "Good" Friday of death on the cross for you...death of something that once dead will set you free, and may you look to the Sunday celebration of Jesus' reserection as a revival in your heart.
What you chase after, you become...