Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Not Yet 4

Back with Mary and how she stayed at home with the mourners instead of running to Jesus…in this particular case, it seems as if Jesus wanted Mary to get moving too. He wanted Mary to get out of the house and come to be by His side. He knew the only way Mary would find true healing was by seeking Him, literally! She needed to get physically moving, drop her sense of protection, step out of her comfort zone, use her pain as the engine that would help her rise, and go seek Him first. And as we have seen, Mary needed an extra push too…a push from non-other than her rather pushy sister, Martha.

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.” John 11: 28-31

As we make it our purpose and our choice to seek Him first, like Mary seems to have chosen, there are some moments, some rather especially troubling and radical moments in our search, which call for a radical change, a change from our default and out of our comfort zone in order for us to find peace…to find Him. The problem may be that in these types of situations, dropping our hang-ups might require Jesus staying put on the outskirts of our vicinity, as well as a push from one of His angels.

Sometimes we are so deep in the darkness of our pit of sadness and pain that we can´t move. We can’t see that He is there, waiting for us. We can’t see that we need to go to Him. We can’t see that it will take an action from our part to be in the awareness of His presence once again. That’s when, in His mercy, often, Our Lord puts people in our lives to get us going.

Also, more often than not, we have a hard time moving because we are too caught up in our circumstances and in what we are doing. The truth is that to be in Christ’s presence we have to drop everything and come to Him…to seek Him first we cannot be seeking after other things. But that is a very hard thing to do, even when what we are doing is suffering.

Our pain and our difficulties may become our center. I speak from experience here. Upon occasions, I have gone through moments of an anguish so gripping that it becomes the focus of my entire attention. My concentration is fully on the situation and the circumstances of my sorrow become a distraction, a barrier between me and My Lord. The worst part is that I´m so into my own, that it becomes almost impossible to let the pain go. I mean, is this messed up or what?

In situations like that, when the anxiety level rises and fear crawls up and down my spine, I can’t talk about anything else. My thoughts are consumed by my problem. I drive my relatives crazy because I seem obsessed by my worry. I don’t do anything right. I walk around with a dark cloud hanging over my head all the time. I’m in a bad mood. I resent those who refuse to understand or join in my concern. And I forget that even then, I do have a choice: I could to turn my issue into an idol that I worship daily at the altar of despair or I could turn it in at the foot of the cross and worship the One and Only who can take my burden, heal my brokenness and make me new.

And of course, this is not just during times of loss and sorrow, but the truth is that the choice of seeking Him first implies total surrender…dropping it all at the foot of the cross, issues, circumstances, hurts, pain, suffering, possessions, loved ones, worries, joy and sorrow…it all belongs to Him. And in return, He gives us His peace and His presence.

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