Consider Him Who Endured
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lost heart.
Robin and I were so looking forward to attending MLB’s Spring Training in Phoenix with family and friends last week. We flew to sunny-363-days-a-year Santa Barbara on the two days that it wasn’t, and visited with family before driving to Phoenix. In the midst of our drive (which included replacing a rental car due to a blown tire), we heard the NBA had canceled games due to COVID-19, and we dreaded that our plans were soon to change. Sure enough, as we entered Phoenix the next day, 30 minutes prior to the start of the first of many planned games, all Spring Training games were suspended.
So, as the crisis elevated, eleven travelers who had been through seven airports in all, converged upon my brother-in-law’s condo for five days and nights in close quarters with more than the later recommended ten people maximum. Don’t worry… we did a LOT of sanitizing several times a day and found ways to stay outside, once the Phoenix sun finally decided to make an appearance!
While the highlight of the trip was of course time with family, my favorite day was spent in Sedona where I was reminded, amidst the fear and anxiety facing all of us, of the majesty of our God and His creation in the beauty of the red rocks there. It is absolutely breathtaking!
It was our visit to the simple, beautiful Chapel of the Holy Cross that really touched me. Built into the side of a mountain, it provided a necessary pause for me—a moment that brought to mind Christ’s perseverance for our sakes (and souls) and the need for His strength to get through this time. I snapped a photo of the incredible cross, a tree, almost in silhouette against the pastel backdrop of sun and stone.
When we came home from what was a crazy yet memorable trip, the reality of our (hopefully temporary) new normal really sank in. I have to admit, I don’t like it. I miss not seeing my kids, grandbabies, mom, and friends as we are trying to be as safe as possible since traveling. My increased anxiety surprised me a bit as we learned of the expected yet still startling spread of the virus. I glanced at the photo that is now the wallpaper on my phone, and I thought again about perseverance.
Then, I read this in Hebrews:
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb.12:3) This verse states what I could not find the words to express when
I paused in the chapel. Because He loves us so much, Christ provides us with all we need!
I am keeping this photo on my phone as a reminder (especially in this Lenten season and through this pandemic) to depend only on the Lord’s strength. But I don’t want to just struggle through in fear.
Wouldn’t it be great if we replaced fear with His goodness?
I invite you to join me in doing these things:
Jason’s wonderful Lenten devotionals (which can be found on our website) have stretched and encouraged me, and I invite you to listen to them in this season. I adapted this prayer from Week Four’s lesson. May it be our prayer today.
Grant us, oh Lord our God, minds to know you, hearts to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and the hope of finally embracing you.
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
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