Wednesday, May 15, 2013

she had to break it first

I am not God. (CLEARLY.)

So I cannot possibly know why exactly this happened, or what exactly this is all for - what exactly God is accomplishing through this.

But I can make some guesses, based on God's truth, and what I see happening in my life from my perspective.  Here's one of them.

Jesus wants my whole heart.

Not some of it. Not only some of the time. All of it. All the time. And I'm not anywhere near where I want to be when it comes to my devotion to Jesus.  The sermon this past Sunday on Mark 14:1-11 got me thinking more about this.

Mary Magdalene gave her most prized possession - something that was very expensive and could have gained her lots of other worldly things simply because of its monetary value - to Jesus.

And she didn't just give some of it. She gave it all. She poured the entire contents of her alabaster flask full of ointment of pure nard over Jesus' head.

But she couldn't just pour it.

She had to break it first.

It was fragile, and probably very beautiful. And once again - it was very valuable.

But, in spite of all these things, she took it, and she broke it. She gave it up. For Jesus.

The imagery of this just hit me now.  How often does God call us to give up things in our lives - even beautiful things - and break them, in order to love Him more fully?

One of the ways He does this is through our relationships.

Have you ever been with someone, someone you love? You value that person. They bring beauty into your life. And you make plans with them. You dream and plan and hope for the future.

And then, in His wisdom and care, God, gently but determinedly, calls the two of you away from one another. He breaks the two of you up and calls you both to something else.

And you're confused, hurt, and angry.  For lots of reasons, but mostly because you are losing something beautiful - something you love and value. And it doesn't feel fair.

And, after the initial hurt and shock, you have two ways you can respond.

1. You can grasp at what God is taking from you, cursing Him and His plan, furious that He would take something so beautiful from you.


2. Though hurt and very sad, you can look to Mary's example of sacrifice and devotion to Christ, and see the opportunity God is giving to you to pour your alabaster flask of pure nard over the head of Christ. It's costly - it's expensive. And it's painful - it involves the breaking of something you treasure. But you know that God is calling you to treasure Him above all other things. So, trembling, but knowing it's worth it, you allow the breaking. You allow the sacrifice. You allow the pouring out of part of you that you never thought you'd be asked to give up.

And you cry. You weep. You call out to God and ask for His help and His healing as you seek to move forward when everything looks so dark and wrong. You ask Him to make you more like Christ, and to stir in your heart a devotion to Him that's greater than any thing or any person or any place else.

Why?  Because, even though your heart is broken, you know that Christ is more than enough, and totally worth it.


"The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit."  ~ Psalm 34:18

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