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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our Behalf...

"Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
   each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:4-6

This morning I woke up with the same prayer that I fell asleep whispering.
As I prepared to get my kids off to school, I tried not to think too much.
But as I puffed through the frigid air on my way back to my car after taking my son to his class, a thought struck me.
It wasn't unusual... but it made me blink.

Did Jesus have to experience cold mornings like this one?
Did He ever wake up to uneasiness or heaviness?
Without a heavy cover... a pillow... or a real place to rest Himself....
Did He shiver? 
Did He ache?
Did He long for warmth or comfort.....?

As I got back in my car, cranking up the heater, I began to let the thoughts take root.
"Lord... are you there?"
"Can you see us? Do you understand what I'm feeling at this moment? Do you know how my heart is heavy and weighted down with the hurts that I am feeling right now...  for me... for those that I would do anything for?"

I wanted to come back to bed.
I wanted to crawl back into its cozy warmth, with my down comforter and soft flannel sheets.
I wanted to crawl back to oblivion, where I can rest my thoughts and not think about what I can't change.... or can't fix.
Unaware, not having to face if I am supposed to be doing anything at all.

I am choosing to feel instead.
To let my fingers stay cold.
To allow my heart to thaw from the place that I have kept it frozen for the last few days.

I want to understand... I want to know so much.
I want to know for sure what it is He is wanting me to do in circumstances that are eluding me and trying my patience.... and my will.
Do I fight for more? Or do I concede?
Do I hold on tighter? Or do I let go?
When it is just for me... it is an easier decision to make.
But it isn't just about me... it goes far deeper and far more reaching to touch those that I love.

I can usually fix things pretty good.
I am a great defender.
But today... it would appear that He is taking that out of my hands.
Left to wonder if what I should do... or what I should not do is what He is asking.

As my tears began to pool on that drive home... and my questions kept mounting... I could feel Him near.
His whisper softer than my heart at this moment....
"Come find Me."
"But I don't know what to do God. I don't know what You want me to do..."

"Come find Me."

Isaiah flitted through my thoughts.

Someone that I go back to time and time again....
For reassurance, and a knowing that I need to grasp onto and fully acquaint myself with.
As I sat down here, body poised, I wondered...
"How do I do this Lord? How do you want me to come?"
And as I tuned in my worship, and began to let it flow over me... I  began to feel the emotion that I have been holding up like a dam ready to burst... begin to crack.

As I began to read Isaiah 53 I was struck down with verse four.....

"Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted."    

The thought that had struck me earlier this morning came back in full force.
He did know pain.
He did know what it feels like to be cold... hungry... hurting... burdened... and cut down.
He knows the feeling of gut wrenching heart ache... and pain so deep that the words can not describe it.
There was a time when I doubted that.
When I doubted Him.
I am so overwhelmed that I don't anymore.
And as I sit here and allow the knowledge of the truth of this word to sink in... I am overwhelmed once again.

He chose this... the pain that He knew this world would inflict... for me. For us. For those that I love and am hurting so deeply for right now.
He knew hurtful situations and circumstances.
He is acquainted with the struggles that we are faced with and that we wrestle against.
It is so hard to understand that.
And yet... it is. 
It was.
It was pain in the knowing that those around Him would not understand Him.
It was hurt over being rejected by those that He loved and came to touch... came to save from the very brinks of death.
It was so heavy that He cried out to God to take it from Him if He was willing. (Matthew 26:39)
He knows my pain.
My confusion at wondering where to go next, but unwilling to go against what my Heavenly Father wants for me more. What He wants for my family to know... to learn.
And willing to let the hurt stay for just a little while longer while I cling to the One who knows my deepest places... my deepest hurt... because He is well acquainted with His own.

On my behalf He chose to carry sorrow that would hurt more than pain I myself have felt.
On my behalf He was willing to be stricken....smitten... and afflicted.
Do you understand that? 
He was sick like we are.
He was cold like we get.
He felt alone and unloved.
He saw those closest to Him, those who knew Him, reject Him... forsake Him... 
He wondered.... 
He felt it all....
He knew it before we could even try to grasp to understand....
He knows it now.
As I sit here wondering over the things that are far out of my control.
As I sit here trying to make sense of things that don't make sense at all....
And as my tears finally begin to drop onto my fingers.... and pour down my face....
I know that He is catching them all.
He is concerned with what is hurdling around in my mind.
He has taken notice of the decisions that I am holding my breath to know.... and He is well aware of their outcome.
Even if I am not aware of them myself.
And He is working on my behalf.
He is not wondering as I am anymore.
He knows.

I know that He has been patiently waiting for me to get that He can do all things.
That He can work anything out that I can't seem to fix.
And as I sit here... feeling helpless and wanting to do more than I am doing at this moment...
I get the sense that He is riding in on my behalf.
To right what is wrong.
To fix what is broken.
And all that He is asking me to do is trust Him.
To let Him show up.....

I am not strong enough for this...
I know this so well.
He knows it too.

Because He went before me....
Is still going before me...
He goes before my defeat, to change the odds.
He goes before my heart, to mend what is broken.

As I sit here releasing all that I have been holding in so tight...
I am still crying out for what to do next.....
But I am comforted with this....

Because He knows me... knows us.... I can hope. I can trust Him.
Because He feels my children's pain as keenly as I do... I can let Him go before them too.
I can trust Him to calm their confusion. 
Go before them, and walk them through the tough decisions that I myself can't make.
I can trust Him to heal their hurts.... their sickness... and their pain.
Because of all of it... I am choosing to surrender it all to Him.
To let Him have it.

Because He knows....

He knows.

And because of what He did, was willing to go through on our behalf, what He came to do so many eons ago....
He is able to understand now. 
His power hasn't diminished because of what He was willing to suffer for us...
It is only more profound.

I am praying that we are able to let it be profound in our own lives as we are living them now.

Because of Who He is... and what He was willing to go through.... to understand... to know...
On our behalf.
We are not alone.... and the unthinkable miracle... is thinkable.... hopeful... and attainable.

... until another tomorrow.


"But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed."  Isaiah 53:5


  1. I could have written these words this morning (although not as eloquently). The last few weeks I've wanted to just stay in bed and ignore the reality I can't control. But I am daily choosing to remain present and aware and to give Him my confusion and emotions. Some days I do better at it than others... but I'm hoping that even in the darkness I am learning to trust & find hope.

  2. Oh Maryann.... thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with me. I am praying for you too... just as I sit here and continue to pray over my own situations and conditions. You aren't alone. You are never alone. I know you know that already... but sometimes... it's good to be reminded that you have someone in your corner. I won't forget. Blessings... I look forward to rejoicing with you. ~melissa

  3. Praying for Gods plan to be evident and clear for your situation and circumstance.
    Love, Mom

  4. Every time I read one of your blogs..... the tears just fall. I think this message is something He is trying to tell all of us... especially right now. He would rather die than live eternity without us.
    The King of all Kings is my personal savior? The expected answer to that question or the answer that would make the most sense in my head is.... no way... that's a joke. And the enemy uses that card so often. But the Truth, the beautiful truth is... YES, yes the king of the universe, of all things made, died for me and He would do it again. I cannot even say that sentence out loud without crying tears of confused joy.
    Thank you for allowing God to use you again and again. I love you so very much and I am praying that God's plan for you to continue to unravel.