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Saturday, August 4, 2012

On the Cross With Jesus

This world we live in is a stressful place. There is evil, greed, and every kind of selfishness. Danger is always present.  But we can also find light, kindness, goodness, and people who are willing to share.

We have no control over the actions of other people, so we can't control the amount of stress around us that we have to deal with. I find that trying to find that place where stress is non-existant is a waste of time.  A better thing to concentrate on is facing my problems, my fears, and my insufficiency and learning what to do with them. 

I don't think I'll ever reach the place where there is no fear.  At least not on this earth.  Having Parkinson's Disease brings up all kinds of fears.  I can't help that.  But rather than trying to battle them in my own humaness, hoping against hope for a reprieve, I can put those fears where they belong - at the feet of Jesus. 

To do this, I must first identify and face these fears.  It won't help to try and forget them or pretend they are not there.  Running from them will only wear you out.  Once I have identified them, then I mourn, and cry and grieve in the presence of God.  Tell Him all about your agony.  You can even go to God with your anger.  Then admit your powerlessness over these things you fear.  Our struggle to maintain control is nothing more than a mirage. 

It actually gets simple at this point.  I didn't say "easy".  But we now trust God to do as He pleases, believing that He is a loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God who works out His purposes in every day He gives us.

I remember as I struggled through this process (it will take longer for some than others), giving up my own hopes and dreams for this life, I told Him in all sincerity, that if there were any other place in the world I could go, that's where I would be.  But I had exhausted all other possibilities.  I found myself on the cross with Jesus.  My old self had to die with all of my old dreams, desires, and plans.  I did not choose it to be so, but this is where I found myself.

It was agonizing - letting go of my cherished hopes and dreams.  But Jesus knew exactly what I was going through.  In the Garden of Gethsemene, He too struggled with the impending reality of the cross.  He asked the Father 3 times to "let this cup pass" yet when He did not receive the answer He so desperately desired,  with resignation He faced death.....death on a cross.

When the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease comes, recognize the dread of not knowing how your life will play out or how you will die.  Consider that you may lose loved ones because they can't deal with your tragedy.  But do it all in light of the wonderful reality that He will never leave you or forsake you ("He Himself has said, I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."  -  Hebrews 13:5).  He will never ask you to do what He hasn't done before.  And know that your life will be what He has planned it will be ahead of time.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."

Now I can truly say with Paul and Timothy in Philippians 3:8 - "I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ."  Trust Him, dear ones.  You will not be disappointed.  Trust and wait.........

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