Saturday/Ashes: Holy Week Reflections
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real, and eternal.” John 12:24-25 (The Message)
The ashes just sit here.
Something turned to nothing.
The darkness enshrouds.
What I could see is no longer visible.
Empty. Alone. Desolate.
I remember His words about life coming from death.
Just words. Happy words for someone else.
Not interested in losing, I believed another story.
Could it be true? Is it possible?
That this, this, is the soil in which life grows?
Reflection: A.W. Tozer said: “To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be.” Imagine the desolation of Jesus’ followers on that first Holy Saturday. Everything for which they’d hoped lay in a pile of ashes. It is often far too difficult to put ourselves in their shoes. We know the story: Sunday is coming. In fact, it has come and we live under that glorious reality. However, there are certainly places in our lives where we are living a “Saturday” existence. Hopes, dreams, and desires have been stripped away. We wonder if things will ever change or be renewed. Think about a situation, or situations, like that in your life. Ask the Lord to bring something to mind. Perhaps, in trying to be courageous, you’ve lived in denial about losses in your life. Take a few minutes today and hold the ashes before God in prayer. Tell Him that you want to believe that He is at work. Entrust Your heart to His “supreme work of grace.” Be open, honest, and brutally real with Him. He wants your heart … that’s what He is graciously transforming.
Prayer: Father, the ashes in my life are numerous. The darkness that I often feel makes me wonder what You are doing. I am tempted to just not think about any of it. I don’t want to think that You aren’t good. I don’t want to believe that pain and loss are a part of how I truly grow in grace. Today, give me the courage to stay in the pain I feel so that I can entrust it all to You. I want to believe. I want to trust. Thank You for patiently staying by my side through it all. Thank You for loving me so much that You let me experience loss. I know that is true … let me experience it today. Amen.