Spring; new birth. Easter; new life. But first, the winter, and death.
Easter, with resurrection life and promise. Sweet Easter that came through a cross and a tomb. Death first. That came, then life.
In mind’s eye, I see a rough-hewn cross, mark of death, fierce pain. Of nails piercing skin, drawing blood, taking life.Alone on a hill, a cross…
And I’m thinking of my cross. Mine. The one with my name. That fits my back, tailored for me.
I have a prodigal son.
Of all the crosses there are in the world. Of all the things that mothers can bear, this is not the one that I wanted. This instrument of pain drawing blood, swift and sure. The nails that tear, ripping skin, piercing heart. The death-pangs that burn, fire like, in the night.
No, this is not the cross that I wanted. But it’s the cross that I needed. For the cross that brings death, brings life. Here’s how.
It’s been in the heat and the press of this long, difficult journey that my Lord’s used this cross to bring death, death I needed. By allowing me to face some of the things I most feared, He’s helped me to conquer my fears.
By taking me to a place of utter extremity, He’s helped me to open my hands and say this, “They are yours. Here they are.” Then this, “Me, too.” And to lay us all down on an altar.
By taking me through deepest flood, hottest fire, He’s teaching me that flames cannot burn, nor flood drown.
By giving me practice at dying to pride, He’s teaching me His sweetest humility (we’re still working :D).
By bringing me clean to the end of myself, I’ve found in the end, that He’s there. Right there.
And so I embrace all the work of this cross, and I open my heart to its death. Because I know this, that while crosses bring death, life always and ever comes after.
I’ve chosen life. Life through death on a cross. Lived in Him, through Him, for Him and by Him. Not by me or my strength, but in His.
If you have a prodigal, take heart. And know, dear friend, that He’s working. It’s not yet the time to tell you in full, for the story’s not mine. It’s my son’s. But I can tell you this, that God, He is faithful. His promises are true, His word never fails, and we have so much hope for the future.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name (Ps. 103:1).”
In Him and for Him,