The fragrance of sacred joy

A BIG world transformation is unfolding faster every day it seems. I don’t need to go into the details of the events. They’re all well known and easy to find. There’s a lot to be concerned about. I’m not one to ignore bad news, but then what?

Should I run into the street screaming? Should I crumble in despair?

No.

Instead, I will rest firm on eternal truths. Yes, the trials of the world are reaching an unprecedented scale.

But I still believe…

I believe in kindness. New possibilities exist for this. Here, now, in this storm of spiritual intensity, God continues to call out to us. And even if the news doesn’t show it, there is great good being done. And there is much greater good to be done still.

I believe in family. I see where we can come together and be tender and caring. And for families being torn apart by the trials of our times, I see the strong ones rising up.

Suddenly someone steps up and gains courage. They hold down the fort and say, “Despair and ruin will not take this house. On hope and love I stand firm. I will not let this family fall apart. I will give until it hurts. I will love until the end.”

I clearly see Christ in them.

I believe in personal miracles and spiritual transformation. From the ashes, the broken and weary somehow find great renewal. They shatter the shackles of slavery and move forward with confidence despite the world in flames. New pillars of strength rise up out of the desolation.

I see Christ at work in them.

I know some people are facing tremendous struggles. These are tooth and nail spiritual wars, and the enemy attacks with naked aggression. These situations are so hard for me to understand outside the realm of faith.

It’s abandonment, betrayal, illness, poverty, addiction, abuse, and violence. Overwhelming burdens that would crush me.

But I see some, walking with Christ through it all–in a way that I can only begin to fathom…

Even Jesus felt abandoned by his Father… like you do sometimes. Like we all do sometimes. But if we wait and trust and hope no matter what–against all odds–then, the Third Day arrives.

THE ONLY MEANING FOR THE DEEPEST HURT

Christ was lifted up on the cross to be glorified in suffering and humiliation. It’s a great mystery how the innocent, faithful, obedient Son of Almighty God could be hurt and killed.

What does this mean at its deepest level?

For some that suffer deeply, only profound identification with Christ can bring meaning. Nothing else will suffice.

All other explanations are empty. They offer no closure. No earthly words can soothe the deeply suffering soul.

Sometimes the hurt or shame is so deep, that only supernatural healing will do. It might have been a self-inflicted wound, or you were the victim. Only by elevating the tragedy up to the level of Christ brings completeness.

You put it up there on the cross and crucify it. And Jesus comes to serve you, to where you hurt. In his flesh, he bears your hurt with you.

Only Jesus himself can fully understand you. Only in him can you understand and accept your history. It’s penetrating the intimate mind and heart of Jesus that only a few will know at its fullest expression. This is not a call to suffer for nothing, but some cannot avoid their hurt and pain. It’s an inevitable, everyday reality.

But if you truly trust and immerse yourself completely in the wounds of Jesus, a miracle can happen. And it will overflow out from you, like a living stream, as the Spirit of God finds a wide space to work in your open, wounded heart.

Many everyday saints carry deep wounds. In cooperation with Jesus, they go about healing the deepest wounds of the world. There are some places the Lord can reach only through them.

You can go round and round, searching for closure, but it will not come. Not until you SEE your wounds in his wounds and OFFER your wounds into his wounds. And this gives you the authority to be an instrument of miraculous healing–to find another wounded heart and to open the door to let in the fragrance of sacred joy.

Those who let themselves be lifted up by the Lord in this way—they are a mighty force for God.

Nobody asks for this or wants this–but nothing can topple or overthrow them as they are seated so firmly in the wounds of Christ that they become part of him. Immovable. Indestructible. Eternal.

Their wounds anchor to the wounds of Jesus for all time. This is not an obligation or heroism, but a call to glory.

It’s fully living the resurrection, here, now and forever more in Christ.

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:2

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4 Replies to “The fragrance of sacred joy”

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