I know. Scandalous, isn’t it. The very idea should make us cringe, but this morning I had a chance to visit my old church. It’s Tuesday morning and, therefore, it is empty. All of the lights are turned off. The aisle is illuminated by the mid-morning sun shining through a glass block cross at the front of the auditorium. At the right time of day, it will create a cross shaped glare across the pews.
I sat in the front pew and just looked for a while. Life can get busy, can’t it? I have been so overwhelmed this past week and it all went pear-shaped when I suffered a nasty fall at work. Three days later I am still recovering. Life just has this way of kicking us when we are down, and, without fail, that’s when we are tempted. I knew that. I know that. I speak that. I warn other people about that.
Sitting there in that pew, staring up at the glass window cross, I just thought back to Peter walking on water and how he took his eyes off Jesus and started looking at what was around him. He then relied on his own logic and that logic told him “men don’t walk on water.” Nevermind the fact that he was walking on water. His logic trumped his faith and even the facts and he tried to settle the situation in his mind but there wasn’t an answer. So he sank.
How different our lives would be if we just kept our eyes on the cross. If we just remembered that the cross is the grace under which we live, the grace by which we stand.
I fell this weekend, and that is so hard for me to admit. Like ridiculously hard. I stand here and operate this ministry to women who struggle and I would like to think that I am some kind of hope, some kind of light for them, and then I go and screw it all up. I have been so defeated in my heart ever since. It’s been a long time since I’ve known this pain. I have to admit that it even drove me away from God.
I took my eyes off Him. I looked at my life and all of the struggles, all of the trials and instead of turning my eyes to Him, I ran back to my old stomping grounds. Even though I knew the hangover that waited for me. That frustrates me. The fact that I am still human and still fall frustrates me.
So my time before the cross, albeit brief, was precious. I spent a couple quiet moments, away from family, away from work, and oddly enough, without pain… just resting. Just being still and reminding myself of what it means for Him to be God.
I can’t stress how important it is for us to stay near the cross. For us to keep coming to its level ground to seek mercy and help in our time of need. For us to come asking for wisdom and grace. Every answer and all the strength I needed was right there.
That’s how it is for us. All of the tools we need to fight are right there. Right in front of us in the form of the cross. Like Peter, we have the Lord of all Creation standing right in front of us, but we look away. And we drown.
How would our lives change if we lived everyday in the shadow of the cross? If we stopped to realize the price paid for the freedom we already have? The freedom we so often choose to forsake for the sake of our own pleasure. We are guilty of the scandalous. We fight at the foot of the cross. We lie at the foot of the cross. We steal at the foot of the cross. We envy at the foot of the cross. We lust at the foot of the cross. We even have orgies at the foot of the cross.
What a vile people we are, and how it must break His heart. Can you imagine, our Saviour looking down from Calvary, bearing the sin and the weight of the world on His shoulders and witnessing that? You think He didn’t know our sin? You think He didn’t see? I assure you He knew full well the people He died for, and yet He died anyway.
Oh what a Saviour!