Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Just Beginning

   As the heavens are high above the earth, so was what Jesus suffered for us above the terrible physical aspects of it all. Since I can’t fully grasp even the physical dimensions of His agony, how can I begin to appreciate what went on there in His separation from His Father God…the eclipse, for however long, of that eternal, intimate relationship? Their hearts had beaten as one from eternity until this moment of all moments. No way can I understand the rupture that Jesus’ sin-bearing caused.   

   We stand at the seaside, look at and touch the water. “Yes…” we say, “It is wet.” “Yes…” we say, “It is big.” “Yes…” we say, “It is powerful.” Have we therefore comprehended it? No! We stand at the Cross. “Yes…” we say, “Look how He suffers.” “Yes…” we say, “Behold how He loves us!” “Yes…” we say, “God has forsaken Him.” And we say many other true things. Have we therefore comprehended the Cross? No. No way! Never!   

   So we keep coming back, as we should, as we must. We come young and old, rich and poor, and all the levels between. We come from every walk of life…from every race…of every intellect…and in every condition. The ground at the foot of the Cross is level. No one of us assumes a position over another. Here we are all just needy sinners…prodigals all, looking for home and hoping the stories are true…that there really is a Father Who will run to welcome us…to embrace us, kiss us and take us home with Him  

   We come trembling…and gaze in horror at the young God from Nazareth Who has already suffered so much on the Tree that He no longer looks human. We come in abject shame that our terrible sins have led to this which we see before us and, yet, we come in deep, deep gratitude that He would volunteer Himself like this for us. We come in faith, knowing that it is for us He died and that it was not in vain.  We come in hope…a thing we had long ago given up until this…until now. Now we know that since He thought us worth such effort, then, for His sake, we cannot give up on ourselves. And we come in love. For the Son of Man has been lifted up and we are drawn by the force of His amazing love and sacrifice. As we look through our tears at the very dying form of the One suffering there for us, we feel our hearts change within us. We know we will love Him forever. We know and are so glad that our lives will never be the same. We determine to see everything in the light of the Cross, and to know nothing among others except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We have a new reason in life…“For Him.” Whereas once we saw Him almost nowhere, now we see Him everywhere…in every good and beautiful thing…and even, in every suffering human. It occurs to us that what we have seen and now know many others also need to know. They must also be brought to the Cross. Love leaves us no choice we can accept, and we turn from the sight of the Cross, and go in the lasting power of its memory to seek and bring them. Now we are beginning to feel the power of His Cross…beginning to understand. Comprehend? No. But beginning to understand? Yes! By His grace and to His glory.  

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4 thoughts on “Just Beginning

  1. Uncle John on said:

    Doug,
    Keep up the great thoughts! There is no other way we get the depth or breadth of what Jesus did except by slow, incremental attempts, such as your words, that would incite and stimulate our heart’s understanding.

    When’s the next time you are in town bro?

    THANKS, JOHN. I’M NOT SURE EXACTLY WHEN I WILL NEXT BE IN TOWN…BUT SOMETIME DURING THE FIRST TWO WEEKS IN MARCH I IMAGINE. YOU AND YOURS ARE ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS AND OFTEN IN OUR PRAYERS.

  2. Rex Boyles on said:

    “Deeper than the ocean and wider than the sea is the grace of the Savior for sinners like me. Sent from the Father, and it thrills my soul just to feel and to know that His blood makes me whole.”

    The first time I ever heard that song – was 35 years ago – at the same time that I met you. Unique way God works – He introduced me to a song – a truth – and a friend, which He would use to teach me something of the unsearchable riches of His grace.

    Thank you for singing that song … teaching that truth … and being that friend.

    THANK YOU, FRIEND, FOR THE SAME THINGS. IN OUR “TOGETHER” YEARS I WITNESSED HIM IN YOU…IT WAS CLEAR TO ME…HAD NEVER BEEN CLEARER…THAT HERE WAS SOMEONE IN WHOM THE PLEASURE OF JEHOVAH PROSPERED…AND I AM EVEN MORE THANKFUL FOR WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY (MORE THANKFUL EVEN FOR WHAT I SAW DURING OUR “TOGETHER” YEARS)…I AM EVEN MORE THANKFUL THAT TODAY…I KNOW IT IN A WAY THAT IS EVEN CLEARER THAN EVER BEFORE…TODAY THE PLEASURE OF JEHOVAH YET PROSPERS IN YOUR HAND…I KNOW THAT YOU ARE ONE HE SENT…I KNOW BECAUSE THE DESPAIRING ARE FINDING HOPE, THE SHAMED ARE FINDING A PROTECTOR, THE HUNGRY ARE BEING FED, THE GUILTY ARE COMING HOME, THE DISENFRANCHISED ARE FINDING A SAFE PLACE TO BE…TO BREATHE…OUT AND THEN IN, THE LOST ARE FINDING THEIR WAY, THE DECEIVED ARE HEARING THE TRUTH SPOKEN IN SUCH LOVE. MAY THE GREAT GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST KEEP YOU BURNING FOR HIM WITHOUT BEING CONSUMED.

  3. The thought of my shameful sinful actions being put in His pure holy body…is almost more than I can stand to think about. It brings physical pain to my heart….makes me sick to my stomach. If only I had even paused to think about Him at some of those “dark” times in my life! But I didn’t. That’s what sin does to you I guess.

    The good that came from those dark days…and my disgust with my behavior…is that I don’t ever EVER want to be in that place again. I never again want to turn away from God…I never again want to leave His arms. I want to please Him now and every day that He gives me. I know that I will continue to sin….but I want to be walking in the light as He is in the light.

    The pain that Jesus suffered, not only from His physical wounds, not only from bearing my sin, but from being separated from His Father is beyond my comprehension. Thank you for saying it the way you did. It has opened a whole new line of thought in my brain (and my heart).

    WHEN THE PEOPLE SAW JESUS WEEPING AT LAZARUS’ TOMB, THEY SAID, “BEHOLD HOW HE LOVED HIM.” I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED THAT. WHATEVER ELSE IS TO BE SAID ABOUT THE TEARS OF JESUS THEN, THEIR POINT WAS RIGHT, WASN’T IT? HE DID LOVE LAZARUS SO. BUT WHEN WE RETURN IN OUR HEARTS, WITH THE AID OF SCRIPTURE, TO THE CROSS OF OUR SAVIOR, MUSTN’T WE SAY (AMONG OTHER THINGS), “BEHOLD…HOW HE LOVES US ALL?” THE CROSS WITHOUT THE RESURRECTION WOULD CRUSH ALL HOPE OUT OF US. BUT THE CROSS, PLUS THE “REST OF THE STORY” (kudos to Paul Harvey) DOES JUST THE OPPOSITE. IT INFUSES US WITH HOPE. WE WILL NEVER TIRE OF HEARING THE BEAUTIFUL, IF TERRIBLY PAINFUL, LOVE STORY ENACTED THERE. WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP OUR DETERMINATION AMONG OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS TO “KNOW NOTHING” AMONG ONE ANOTHER “SAVE JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED.” WE WILL LOOK AT OUR LIVES IN THE LIGHT OF THE CROSS AND WE WILL SEE WHAT IS THERE THAT HONORS CHRIST ON THE CROSS AND WHAT DISHONORS HIM. WE WILL MAKE IT OUR SERIOUS EFFORT TO ELIMINATE THE DISHONORABLE AND NURTURE THE HONORABLE. IT IS THIS DETERMINATION OF HEART THAT HE TAKES INTO ACCOUNT EVEN WHEN OUR FEEBLE EFFORTS COME UP SHORT, AS THEY OFTEN DO. BUT FEEBLE OR NOT…COMING UP SHORT OR NOT…WE WHO HAVE BEEN TO THE CROSS CANNOT QUIT ON HIM. THANKS FOR CHECKING IN AND SPEAKING FROM YOUR HEART, SHERRY.

  4. Beyond comprehension is an understatement. There is so much about His love, His suffering, His plans, His sacrifice that will never find my brain wrapped around it. But …

    I know that the devil is no respector of persons. We are all attacked … we all have our chance to fight … and we all have the same weapons at our disposal. “The ground at the foot of the cross is level.” So the choice is ours. What will I do? What will His response be?

    The level ground is also for forgiveness … we all have the same gifts and amazing love at our disposal. What will I do?

    It is incomprehensible that He died for me … so that I could make stupid stupid decisions and still be with Him. So that I could push Him away and sometimes run from Him … while He still holds me tight in His arms. So that I could come to my senses and choose to hold Him tight.

    Thanks God … for being incomprehensible … unconditional … omnipotent … omnipresent … and my Father, Shepherd, Savior, and Peace.

    AMEN, PAIGE. WHAT A LOVELY PARADOX THAT WE ARE INVITED TO KNOW THE UNKNOWABLE FATHER GOD! HE IS FAR TOO COMPLEX…TOO DEEP…TOO BIG FOR US TO EVER FIGURE OUT…AND YET, HE IS OUR FATHER. WE CAN CLIMB UP ONTO HIS LAP WHEN WE NEED TO…AND REST THERE…AND JUST ENJOY HIS LOVE FOR US. SURELY THIS IS THE LIFE ETERNAL…”Eternal life is to know You, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, the One You sent.” (John 17:3) PAIGE, I WISH TO CONTINUE THE PRAYER YOU BEGAN…”DEAR FATHER, FULL OF MYSTERY, FULL OF SURPRISES, FULL OF POWER, FULL OF KNOWLEDGE, FULL OF GRACE, MERCY AND, MOST OF ALL, LOVE, WE ARE SEEING YOU IN OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST…AND SEEING YOU, WE ARE BEING CHANGED…TRANSFORMED. WE DON’T WISH TO END THE JOURNEY. WE WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING TO SEE FULFILLED ALL YOUR PLANS FOR US AND FOR ALL YOUR PEOPLE. FORGIVE US FOR LIMITING YOU…FOR EVER THINKING WE HAD YOU FIGURED OUT. FATHER, IF YOU SAID NOTHING ELSE, THE CROSS WOULD SAY IT ALL. BUT THANK YOU FOR BENDING TO MEET US IN OUR TERRIBLE NEED AND LIFTING US UP INTO THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN JESUS CHRIST…FOR NOT ONLY TAKING US INTO YOUR HEART, BUT FOR HOLDING US THERE. WHAT CAN WE DO…WHAT WOULD WE EVER WANT TO DO, BUT MAGNIFY AND PRAISE YOU AND SERVE YOU EVERMORE. YOU, DEAR FATHER, ARE THE REASON FOR ANYTHING GOOD IN US OR THAT COMES FROM US. THANK YOU FOR REDEEMING OUR WORTHLESS LIVES AND FOR MAKING US YOUR POEMS…YOUR LETTERS…YOUR CREATIONS WHICH MIGHT HELP LIFT SOME OTHER TRAVELER’S EYES FROM EARTH TO YOU.”

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