A Lenten Devotional, Day 28

A Lenten Devotional, Day 28

This season, we’re blessed with a set of Lenten devotionals by contributing author Lee Hinkle.  Find out more about Lee at the bottom of this article, or at hinkledownunder.com.

Reading

John 11:38-57 (ESV)

Meditation

When I was a boy I would often daydream. Let me confess, I may still be a habitual daydreamer. One of my favourites was about an underground hideout that I would build in my back yard. Within this hideout were: a large tv (we didn’t have flat screens then), an Atari 2600 with all the games, a small kitchen (I liked to cook even back then) and a super couch to rest on while I played games. The best thing about the hideout was the robot that looked exactly like me, that I could control from a computer (probably Tandy brand). The eyes had cameras so I could see what it saw and could control all the movements. My dream was to send it to school in my place so I could stay in the hideout. The crazy thing is, I would have to be engaged the whole time on the control computer while it was at school. So I would be doing all the work, all the interaction, all the learning but from behind the robots eyes. I guess I really liked staying in my pyjamas, or perhaps something deeper was going on there. (I swear I really do like people and being with them.)

We all have a version of an alternative universe that sounds more acceptable to us than the one we are living in.

We all have a version of an alternative universe that sounds more acceptable to us than the one we are living in. We can live in the “If” world. “If this happened…” “If I had…” “If she would have…” “If I could just…” “If they were still…” It springs from our hearts because we long for comfort, security, control or surety. Our ideal life looks just a little off—or completely different—than the life we are living. This desire for the alternative universe can be a great motivator for us to pursue growth and accomplish great things. But when it is not tempered by God it can lead to destruction. It is ok for us to dream; there is something that God has placed in our hearts that provides it. It is when these dreams push us to distrust of God and His plan that sin enters in and begins to destroy. It is when we begin to believe that God has messed up somehow in our lives and we need to find a way around His screw-up that our hearts move from worship, rest and trust toward passive antagonism, doubt and struggle.

Our current lives are not easy, even though some of us do have it pretty nice. We are in the “in-between” when the fallen-ness of this world comes crashing down on us.

The alternative universe for the Jewish leaders was one without Jesus, and they begin to plan it.

“He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” The alternative universe for the Jewish leaders was one without Jesus, and they begin to plan it. But even in that plan God is present. Caiaphas cast a vision of what was to come—the death of one man, this Jesus, to save the nation—and all the while, God is writing the Truth: the death of one man, Jesus Christ, to save the Children of God. Caiaphas believed he need to save his nation, but God was moving in reality to create a People of His Own.

Prayer

Father God, open our eyes to see your reality; the work you are doing and have accomplished in our lives and in the world. Help us to submit all of our desires to you. Let us bring our dreams to your throne and lay them down. Take our alternative universes and purify them, extract what is your Truth and burn away what is not. Please give us comfort through your Spirit, because our pain is real and our hurt is exhausting. We need your mercy and gentle touch to assure us that you have us in your hands.

We are broken and being restored. We are complete in Christ right now but see through the glass dimly. Please pour your assurance over us. Amen.

Lenten Action

Over the next week when an “if” statement moves into your heart, ask the Spirit to help you quickly take it to the feet of God. Find someone you know is on the journey with God to pray with you about your “if” statement. Ask them to look at it with you, seeking to know how God is working in the place you are currently that has invited the “if” statement. Ask them to help you trust the Father.
• • •

Lee Hinkle is an American pastor who, with his family of 7, felt God’s call to pack up and plant a church in Fremantle, a town in Perth, Western Australia.  Last Summer, the Hinkles left Indianapolis and arrived in Oz to begin their work.  You can follow their adventures at hinkledownunder.com.

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