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Posts Tagged ‘Coriinthians’

Did the ones who stood vigil at the cross really believe Jesus would die? I don’t think so. They expected a reprieve or a last minute miracle. After all, this was the man who stilled a storm, gave sight to the blind and raised a dead man. Was this his final display of strength in weakness?

II Corinthians 13:4
For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.

It’s all there in the crucifixion story: die to live, weaken to strengthen, submit to rule, forgive to trust, suffer to heal, and so forth. These opposites trail after me. When am I going to get it?

Last night I had a dream about a very large black dog that charged toward me and instead of running away or standing stock still, I squatted down, held out my arms to hug him and nuzzle him. I seriously doubt this technique would work in real life. But in the dream, the dog responded and simply rubbed my face and neck the same way my big Snooki dog (a black lab mix) does. It’s a start.

Weakness can be a choice for the good of the moment.

For me, this means saying, “You’re right,” more often or “I take full responsibility for that mistake,” or “I was wrong.” It means listening even when I disagree. It means giving opportunities to others that I would like to have. It can mean serving without recognition or diligence without admiration. It can mean accepting surprises and unintended consequences with grace. It can mean a certain lack of control.

My big joke about myself has always been that I prefer “planned spontaneity.” When an old friend who was a 5th grade science teacher told me she would run experiments in class without knowing the outcome, I paled. How often have I told people, “I’ll do it!” not because I wanted to help but because I didn’t trust anyone else to “do it right.”

That’s a shame to me now. It’s time to respond differently. It’s time to let go of my controlling nature. It’s time to stop previewing the future, planning every step, and manipulating outcomes.

I’m not so sure that even Jesus knew how things would play out. But his trust in God was rooted deeply and in the end, even in fear and doubt, he died with hope. Was he surprised when he found himself back in the world? We’ll never know. But he certainly walked about in new understanding.

This is what can happen to us as well. Once we let go of “our way,” we are able to discover another way that is God-breathed.

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