“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Palm Sunday. Maundy Thursday. Good Friday. Easter Sunday. And everyday in between.
We spent last week retracing the steps of Jesus from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem all the way to Calvary. I don’t know about you, but each day I was resolved to be a better follower, a true disciple, a more devoted Christian. After meditating on what Christ suffered for my salvation, of course I could do the small things that He asks of me.
As I journeyed through Holy Week, I was painfully aware of the changes that needed to occur in my devotional life and my relationship with my Savior. But I had hope. I was determined to put my past failures behind me and to start anew this week with fresh energy and a renewed spirit. I would get up earlier. I would read more of my Bible. I would spend more time with prayer and journaling. I would spend more time in outreach to the unchurched. I would teach my children better. I was overflowing with ideas and excitement of the things I would do for the Lord’s sake.
Then, as I collapsed last night, after all the celebratory activities of the day, I began to feel guilty. I was exhausted. There was no way I would be getting up early to do anything. Oh, and after having been off work for a week, I had to get back tomorrow. How was I going to trudge through a day of work and catching up? I didn’t even have the energy to head toward bed. So I just slumped in my recliner, dreading the week to come and all the things on my calendar.
I sat there feeling bad about myself while I watched the beginning of the AD mini-series on tv. On the screen, Peter said something that profoundly impacted me. Speaking of Jesus, he said,
“He understands our weaknesses.”
It’s true. Jesus understands our weaknesses. He understands our best intentions that turn south with adverse circumstances. As the disciples well knew, we all have great intentions at times. And we all fail at times.
That is the beauty of Easter. The grace of Jesus is ever-flowing. We are not condemned for our failures. We are loved in spite of them.
So now what? As followers with great intentions, but lacking in skill, energy, strength and power – what are we to do in order to be faithful followers of Christ?
He spoke to me last night and said, “small steps.” Just do the small things. Do what I can do. And don’t worry about the rest that doesn’t happen. What does that look like for me?
I may not be able to get in an hour of prayer time or Bible study each morning, but I can work in 10 minutes several times a day. I may not be able to hand write the notes to those I feel a need to contact. But I can sure send a text. I may not be able to get my to do list done, but I can focus on the 2 or 3 most important items. I may not be able to home cook that meal for a family in need, but I know where Taziki’s is.
And the resurrection truth is:
I can trust God to take what I CAN do, to multiply it for His purposes, and to be glorified by it. I can trust, that with Jesus, my best will be good enough. And He will take care of the rest.
He promised that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And I am fully convinced that I why I need a Savior. There is no way I can get it all done on my own.
Grace and Peace to you Easter People.
You came and sacrificed all for my sake. May Your name be praised for all eternity! I know Your forgiveness is there when I fail You. Moreover, I know You are there to pick me up and help me. Help me to stay focused on the most important things, those things that bring me closer to You. Lead me to peaceful streams, where I can rest in Your embrace and trust that my best is good enough. Help me to live as an Easter person.
In the name of the Risen Christ I pray,