Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Romans 8:35 (NIV)

 

I’m certain that Sawyer, my four-year old, has the highest concentration of self-assuredness that can “safely” be gifted to any human.  He feels E-VER-Y-THING deeply.  I can appreciate his tenacity.  Yet, during treasured moments while we nestle and cuddle, I am fully aware that something as uncontrollable as the blanket we’re under becoming too warm, sending him into a complete “why did YOU do this to me!” hysteria.  It’s (literally) a hot mess.

I might be older than four, but…

Last week, on my way to our Palm Sunday service, unexpected conviction began trickling into the tiny cracks of a personality trait I’d prefer to keep undisturbed.  Resultantly, palm leaves, donkeys and songs about “Hosanna” didn’t satisfy the cravings of my worship this round.  Instead, the picture of that triumphant entry started pounding on the walls of entitlement I’ve unapologetically constructed as a means to protect my right to do this “God stuff” my way.

Long ago, on that day in Jerusalem, people abandoned their comfort zone as they shouted and praised, “Blessed is the king of Israel!”  They stumbled over one another to give honor to the one “who comes in the name of the Lord!”  They pulled branches down to make “royal” the path of the man that they believed had come to rescue them from the bondage of their volatile existence.  The answer they’d prayed for was standing in front of them.

Even today, our spirit longs to do the same thing.  We fill stadiums, throw our hands up high with swollen emotions as we abandon our inhibitions and try to speak gratefulness to a Father who has rescued our soul.  Full-in and unabashedly, our deep calls out to Him.  Transformed, we are convinced that He is the only way.  We are His to use at will.  Fully-in.  Then we return to our daily routine.

If only we could live in that stadium…

Because it’s the five days between the Triumphant Entry and Good Friday that are holding a mirror to my heavy heart.  Five days later, Jerusalem gathered on those streets again.  And, five days later, they chose a murderer instead of a “savior”.  Five days later they beat “the King of Israel”.  They shamed Him.  They spit on Him.  Five days later, they watched Him die and then walked away, satisfied.

Five Days.

What caused such a drastic change?  Here’s a clue: It wasn’t Jesus.

We are FICKLE CHILDREN.  Giving our lives freely when it makes sense to our brokeness as we celebrate the price that has been paid for us.  Then, mere days minutes later, taking back control the instant God’s agenda doesn’t align with our own.  Wide-eyed and saturated in His grace we worship; then, without warning, we instinctively reclaim the reigns, choosing the enemy instead.  One minute we are cuddling in the safety of our Father’s arms and the next we’re blaming Him for everything wrong in our world.

We.  Are.  A.  Fickle.  Mess.

BUT, here’s the hope.  Jerusalem made the inexplicable choice to abandon heaven somewhere during the course of five volatile days.  But, Jesus, with the fullness of our misgivings at hand, got on that cross and fought for us still.  And while I know my fickle heart will creep in again and again, I’m desperate to train my feet to stay planted, my eyes focused, and my heart wide open and adoring.  After all, why (WHY!?) would we choose anything but Him?

If you’ve experienced His grace in your life, then you already know nothing else satisfies.  If you haven’t found it personally (just yet), know this:  He’s not like us.  He doesn’t give you parts of His great grace, mercy, love, promises, faithfulness, peace, joy, gentleness…. instead HE RUSHES to you with ALL OF IT — Steadfast.  Unwavering.  Unending.  He FIGHTS FOR YOU TODAY with the same fierce focus He did on that cross.

It’s with that “palm branch” in hand that WE WILL worship today (and tomorrow still).  After all, we don’t just get to basque in His great grace, we must grab onto it and hold on for dear life, lest we forget why we needed it in the first place…  It’s a wonder we ever do anything else.


A great song to adjust our focus this Easter weekend…  You’ll love it.