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We Are Drowning & We Can Not Save Ourselves — Why The Cross Matters

This was the devotional I gave on the last day of our mission trip to Honduras. It also captures the spirit and heart of my upcoming book, From the Garden to the Cross.

Imagine you’re in the middle of the ocean, unable to swim.

The water is so deep and the waves so large, it would overtake even the best swimmers. You’re helpless, drowning without any hope of staying afloat.

What do you do?

What can you do?

cross in honduras

This morning, we stand before a cross.

What does the cross REALLY mean?

What do you believe about what happened at it? Why do you believe that?

Hours before the cross, Jesus Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane, was “crushed with grief to the point of death.”

We all suffer from illusions, particularly when we fail to see the tragedy of life in and around us. Without Grace, we cannot see the full darkness of reality.

It would crush us.

It would drown us.

As Christ demonstrated on his way to the cross, the intersection of reality with our illusions either drives us deeper into the illusion or frees us from it.

To varying degrees, we all choose the illusion.

Something in this world, in us, is so very wrong… the problem is so bad it was crushing our Messiah in the garden.

Tragedy affects you, although if you don’t feel it now, let the tragedy of some people we’re serving here in Honduras remind us of it, and what’s to come.

Things are bad.

How will you respond to this reality when it arrives at your door?

On the way to the cross, Christ saw and faced reality directly. In our journey in life, we too will face these things.

What will you think when your close friend betrays you? What will you do when someone who claims to care deeply about you leaves without a trace?

How will you respond when your religion and its leaders not only fail you but hurt the people you love?

How will you go forward when you’ve done something (or had something done to you) that is so wrong, that its horror drives you into deep darkness?

And while our experience of darkness, pain, and suffering may vary, we all face death, helpless to stop it.

We are drowning. We can not save ourselves.

We need something beyond us.

That is what the cross is about. It’s the intersection of the tragedy we descend into and God’s intervention for humanity’s redemption and gift of eternal life, today.

Not our work, His.

God loves us so much that he came down to earth, as a bounded human and did what none of us could. A salvation gift that cost him dearly is one Christ gives freely to us all.

On the cross, something miraculously happened. It, along with the resurrection, transformed tragedy into redemption; the Embrace of the resurrector is now made possible. Despair transformed into hope.

So, let him catch and heal you. Embrace His life and love, and allow Him to believe for you, to do for you, and to facilitate His pursuit of you; every part inside and out. Let Him shape you in His image.

We see a cross in front of us.

Wherever we go, we’ll continue to see crosses.

These crosses are Christ’s reminder for us to stop resisting His Love and embrace the life He freely gives. Let him rescue you from the storming waters that surround us all.


honduras devotional

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