When You stand, the tall trees and mountains bow
When You speak, the fiercest of oceans is still
And I see the sinner seek devotion
The lost become chosen, and I fall to my knees
Above are the lyrics to the chorus of Devotion by Hillsong. As they play in my kitchen this morning, I close my eyes and absorb the truth and greatness of my God. Creation bows to Him. I remember and treasure how Jesus transformed this sinner into a woman craving and seeking to be devoted to Him. I exhale as the pressures of living fall to the wayside and I believe that my once very lost life has most indeed been chosen.
Proverbs 18:14 (the message)
A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?
We each face adversity at different times in our lives. And when I read the verse above it stirs my heart to overcome! There is no doubt hard times will come, tough decisions will need to be made, we will be hurt by others and sometimes do the hurting. But how do we overcome? How do we conquer, not survive, our adversity? This little proverb jumped right out at me this morning because the answer is clear: If you want to conquer the adverse circumstances, if you want to overcome the opposition, you must have a healthy spirit.
Many of us live with a crushed spirit. Many of us operate and live on automatic pilot…going through the motions of living while deep inside our spirit is weak and damaged. We are not living to the fullest and we know something is missing. And although we may search here and there for the cure…although we may pin our hopes for peace and fulfillment on other people or the perfect circumstances…our spirit remains sick until Jesus makes us healthy and strong. I believe we are born spiritually dead. I believe that original sin separated mankind from God spiritually. And as those song lyrics describe so beautifully, I fall to my knees when I truly grasp that the Creator descended to earth and lived in human body, that He gave up His life and suffered every torment we could possibly face to bridge that spiritual gap.
I’ll be 35 in the Fall. By now I realize more clearly than ever how sick, weak, fragile and frail the human spirit is without the Creator filling us and bringing our spirit alive in relationship with Him. I didn’t go to Bible College and I am quite an oridnary person. With a smile I tell you that regardless of debate and conjecture, there is no person on the planet who can refute my own personal experience with Jesus. I was weak. I was spiritually sick and because my spirit was “crushed” I could not overcome adversity. I could not get past wounds and hurts. I could not stop hurting others. But then…
Like those mountains, I bowed low as God stood tall over my helplessness . Like that fiercest of oceans, my heart and life grew still at the sound of His voice. And just exactly like that sinner, I began to seek devotion. The fog began to lift and I could see Jesus a bit more clearly each day. I could feel His Love and Grace surrounding me. And all that I feared was lost became possible because I saw that adversity is overcome by living in the One who overcame the greatest obstacle: sin and death.
Easter is coming. As my Pastor says…”the superbowl of the Christian faith.” When your spirit is resurrected from its sin-sick state and you begin to really live…when your broken life and the mountains of hardship begin to bow low before Creator…when your most fierce storm grows calm…when the adversity you thought you could never overcome is finally in the past…when you finally realize that its being with Jesus, surrendering to Him completely, that makes your spirit healthy and life worth living…Easter means something more than it did before. If you are crushed beneath the weight of living a sin-sick life, if you are struggling to heal from the pain and wounds of life, I beg you to let Him breathe new life into your spirit. Let Jesus make you strong.
Just like Easter morning, let the Son Rise in your life.