I had the opportunity to speak at church this past Good Friday. I had to pick some of Jesus' last words before he died and give my thoughts on them. Here's what I came up with:
"Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing". Powerful words.
If I were put into that position that would not be my first thought.
So where did He get the strength and wisdom to speak them? How did he muster up that courage? Well, I'm not so sure that He was the one that did.
Surrender. That's another powerful word. God's been teaching me a lot about that this past year.
Through projects falling apart at work, a good friend going through a nasty divorce,
and the never ending work of caring for a toddler and pregnant wife at home,
God has taught me that I can rely on him for strength. For the words to say. For the courage to say them.
The trick is simple: just get out of the way. Empty yourself of.... yourself. Surrender your own desires and wants and independence.
We talk about God wanting to come into our lives. To give us good things. Well, if our lives our so full of ourself, He has no room.
Jesus had learned to empty himself. He let the power of the Holy Spirit guide him.
With this source of unending courage, he was able to do the impossible. To look with God's eyes instead of his own.
To see people as they really are, broken and in need of help. To love those he saw, even in the midst of terrible pain.
That power is open to all of us. You just have to make room in your life for it.