The Bright Sadness: Lent Week 7 March 30, 2015
Join us each Wednesday through the season of Lent. Each week we’ll stream a free Ed’s Story film and follow with reflections to guide our thoughts for the week.
The Bright Sadness series has come to a close as of April 6, 2015, and while the film is no longer streaming for free we invite you to watch a clip from the film below. You can rent or download this week’s film, Ed’s Story Healing, here.
In order for us to believe that something is true, we usually have to see it. If someone tells us that they’ll do something, we expect to be able to see or in some way experience the fulfillment of their words to us. We tend to expect the same from God. We often approach him with the same “seeing is believing” mentality.
It helped me understand that as much as I would like ALS reversed, it’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is under God’s grace.
When Jesus was fasting alone in the desert for forty days, the Accuser tempted Jesus with a similar “seeing is believing” challenge. The Accuser said to Jesus, “Throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” (see Matthew 4:6.) At its core, the temptation is to demand specific behavior from God.
I have developed a prayer for ALS. The blind man calls out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.’ So that’s my prayer. And I pray that for others: throwing yourself at the mercy of God, not demanding what he should do, but following his mercy.
Throughout his ministry on earth, Jesus taught us over and over again that God doesn’t respond to demands; he responds to humility, desperation, and pleas for his mercy. He responds to broken hearts. When we throw ourselves at the mercy of God, we begin to see his heart for us. We become less preoccupied with getting what we think we want, and we’re set free to truly encounter the heart of God as we come to understand the mystery of the way God works and moves.
[Ed] was challenged years ago by a pastor friend in town who did healing services in his own church. But he told us about people who didn’t get healed. He said, ‘Don’t become obsessed with healing. Get lost in the wonder of God, and who knows what he’ll do for you.’
Jesus taught us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) The Greek word for “poor” describes those who are desperate—who have to beg for everything they get. Nothing comes easy. They are the ones who get to see and experience the kingdom of heaven, revealed here and now. Those of us who are “poor in spirit” see and experience the resurrection of Jesus here and now because we are desperate for it—truly throwing ourselves at the mercy of God until we find it, asking God to show us the resurrection of Jesus in our lives every day, knowing it may look differently than what we might expect.
I think you focus on God and your relationship with him. I think you seek forgiveness of others and you develop gratitude in your own life. Healing is more than a cure. It’s wholeness with God, with others, and with yourself. That’s healing, to me.
Are you willing to let go of you think God should do for you?
What makes that so difficult?