I was thinking about Hebrews 12. Since I had been abused by my stepfather, I sometimes associated the verses in this chapter with my Earthly father. I realize there is no comparison between My Father in Heaven and my stepfather; but, I also realize both had the potential to discipline me. Remembering my past, I decided I would compare a coach to My Father (only in this case).
I thought about how my coach used to discipline me. I got the jest of what was said in the chapter, but I let my anger cloud my thoughts of what I truly needed to understand. I suppose the writer of Hebrews is stating that discipline is not always pleasant, but if I train hard (with my “coach”) then I can become stronger-bringing about great joy.
I am hopeful that this new found joy will lead me to great worship, or intimacy, with Him. I am being made new in the Light of my darkness.
Although the “coach” may be a good analogy, God does not want me to think of Him as a coach…but as the true Father. There are hopes, fears, and angers in memories of a father. Though God is not like my stepfather I suppose He instills hopes, fears, and anger as well—but on a different scale. I understand the thought behind this verse, but I will have to switch gears on my thinking. I still like my “coach” analogy, but I suppose I should think of it as a different approach and not in context of that verse.
I am a “Lord of the Rings” nut! I love these books, including the “Hobbit”. There is so much said about life underlying in these beautiful books.
Anyway, I was thinking about when Gandalf falls in the mines of Moria, and the looks on the faces of the Frodo and the companions as he is most certainly meeting his doom. The expression on their faces was not a look due to loss of love for a coach, or a guide, but a different kind of love—perhaps for a dear loved one–perhaps like a father. Their faces told so much.
I was also thinking about Denethor, in the “Return of the King“…not as a father, but as a comparison to myself. Denethor was overwhelmed by the forces of depression that Sauron inflicted on him. I, too, let the Evil One do the same with me. Like I have said before, I let the evil one tell me that I am worthless and that life is meaningless. My mind is like the palantir, a place of deception. The evil one uses it to show me only what he wants me to see—that I am worthless. This allows me to live in despair rather than the goodness of great joy and light. Like Denethor, I continue to battle the great forces of evil, but when the battle is really at hand—I want to flee.
Denethor was blind to so many things: hope, courage, and love. He grieved so much about the passing of his son Boromir dying that he could not fix his eyes on anything positive. Gandalf says something like, “Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt…”
I am like that with my hurts from my past. Instead of fixing my eyes on Jesus, I dwell in my past. This leads to great despair.
To make problems worse, Denethor sends Faramir out to do his job. The job which Denethor should be doing himself—to battle against evil one. When Faramir comes back to his father, and he is thought to be mortally wounded; it is only then that Denethor begins to regret what he has been doing—that he was only thinking of himself.
This last loss breaks Denothor’s spirit. He thinks only of suicide. He has no hope. But in reality there is hope, but he is too blind to see this. In his fit of insanity he has his soldiers build a pyre for him to be placed upon. He feels that he deserves this kind of death because he has been dishonorable.
I kind of understand this feeling. I have felt that same fit of insanity, and shamefulness. It is hard to get out of this state when it seems that everything is spiraling, and who would come to save you.
But like Christ to me, Gandalf does come to try and save Denethor. Gandalf rebukes Denethor. He tells Denethor, “Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death…And only the heathen kings, under the domination of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death.”
Gandalf was trying to tell Denethor that he did not have this right to kill himself; but, Denethor does not listen. In the end, we know what happens to Denethor…he chose death over joy.
Thus later after Denethor’s death, the conversation between Gandalf and Pippin and Pippin says, “I did not think it would end this way.”
Gandalf replies, “End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.”
Pippin says, “What? Gandalf? See what?”
Gandalf replies, “White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
You see, there is hope amidst the darkness. How wonderful is that? I am trying so hard to hold onto this thought. I must pray for strength. I am still in the beginning stages, and will continue on my grand journey. I am going to continue to submerge myself into His healing waters–into His word, and prayer.
My friend, Jeff Judson, once told me, that he didn’t see it as a curtain between life and death, but a curtain between our current false perceptions and truth as God made it. “So when we actually lean into our problems, face them head on with the power of the Holy Spirit, they turn out to be just curtains of rain. They are opaque and seemingly solid, but when we walk through them into the arms of Christ, they are just a curtain of water, and our delusions are washed away with the water of the spirit as we step through the curtain”.
He asked me, “Who would want to live in a fake world of lies and distortions? So why do we choose to do just that in our daily lives?”
With knowing this I should never feel threatened by the forces of darkness that surround me. Jesus was declared the victor over evil, and there is hope. That is not to say that I won’t have bad days; but, it is nice to know that I can be free of that bondage.
It’s like the side view mirror on a car that says…”Hope: objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. The object of my desire is hope, and it’s closer than I think.
“…and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” and “When you were dead in your sins and in the circumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” ~ Colossians 2:10, 13-15
I'm a broken person who desires to know that I'm protected and secured by His grace. I desire to have a deep passion for His truth! His grace and love is the reality of our faith and hope; thus, GRACE RECEIVED!