John 12:31-33 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
Today I repent and confess in front of you. I confess that I read a blog with a prayer request and thought to myself how sad the person's situation was and then moved on to the next blog. I confess that I have more often than I care to admit, presumed someone else was praying or that God already knew and had it under control.
So I repent, I apologize, I ask to be forgiven and I determine to not be this person. I repent not because I don't want to go to hell or miss the rapture (both of which are true) but because I know my heart grieves God. And this is my greatest regret.
Today I thank God that when I clicked away from that blog he bothered yet again to get in my way and demand my attention. I realized in that moment that I have come to accept things as being an expression of a fallen world and that I shrug too much off. The Holy Spirit revealed to me this morning that if God were lifted up in my life, if he occupied the place I claim that he does, his very position would cause my turning to him with everything. I would have realized before today that this woman who needs a miracle in her body is not that much different from me. I need a miracle in my body to breathe, to pump blood through my arteries, to think and move and type blogs. But I don't consider these things miracles. Like the sadness of the fallen world; the abilities of my body have become givens instead of miracles. Everything is a result of God's hand sweeping over the earth to provide the next breath and to turn us toward the sun. How then, dare I give up on miraculous healings and happenings when my very life is a miracle.
When Jesus talked about being lifted up, I so often think of this as a kind of being exalted in worship. It's like a flashlight's beam pulled away and therefore casting a wider light. But read that verse. He was talking about being lifted up on a cross, bloody and beaten.
He was lifted up by men who forgot they needed his miracles for the strength they were using to torture him. I'm no better, I use the strength of his miracles to ignore him. I use his miracle of my mind to convince myself that someone else is praying or that this fallen world is what it is and prayer can't help. I use his miracles to grieve him.
Jesus said before he died that being lifted up on a cross was what would draw men to him. Through blood and pain we would realize, he loves us. If we don't huddle close to together to hide within the shadow of the cross, we miss yet another miracle...hope.
The world is fallen and that is why people are sick, babies are starving and wars are so numerous we can't keep track of them. God will reach the end of his tolerance and judgement will come. The pain will stop then, for those who remember the miracle of him being lifted up.