I was feeling rather trapped recently, stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place, and could simply see no way forward.
My prayers became cries of:
- Make a way!
- Show me the way!
- Open a way!
Like the Israelites trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army (Exodus 14), my path into the place I so desperately wanted to be was blocked.
- What I wanted was for God to part the sea and let me pass through on dry ground (at no risk to my life).
- What I wanted was a way that enabled me to get where *I* wanted to go.
- What I wanted was a way that allowed me to keep my life and plans in tact. A win-win, or at least (if I’m honest), a me-win.
I wanted an abracadabra kind of way. A magic opening.
Which is not the way I got?♀️.
Consider yourself warned, friend, that if you ask Jesus for the way, he’s going to point to cruciform love … especially in the season of Lent.
I wanted a way that would allow me to keep my life (and plans, hopes, & dreams) but even Jesus didn’t do that. He didn’t keep his life. His way involved losing it for the sake of others.
I should’ve asked someone else.
The way of Jesus is always the way of love. The way of Jesus is sacrifice, humility, deference & preference. The way of Jesus is release and relinquish. Basin, towel, and bending low. The way of Jesus is pick up your cross.
This isn’t the way I wanted.
The way I wanted was a way out, not a way deeper in. I wanted an escape route. I wanted the cup to pass me by. I wanted to deny the cross. I wanted to save myself.
But that’s not the way of Jesus.
“Don’t run from suffering,” Jesus says, “embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way …”
Matthew 16:24 (Message)
God answered all my prayers. He made a way, showed me the way and opened the way. Just not the way I wanted.
The way was cruciform love. It was up to me to take it.
“Follow the way of love.” (1 Corinthians 14:1): Our Little Life Words of the week.
- Where might the practice of cruciform love open a way for you right now?
- Whenever you’re wondering what the path forward is, follow the way of love. Try this throughout your week in big and small ways.
- Ask: What would love have me do?
- Our song of the week is my husband’s favorite hymn: The Love of God by Mercy Me.
- Ask God to make a way/show you the way/open a way … and then ask God to give you all the grace you need to be able to take the way.