Easter is my favorite holiday. In my eyes, it reigns as the number one reason to celebrate, and I might even go as far to say it’s the best three out of 365 days in the year. Knowing Jesus was born makes celebrating Christmas pretty awesome, but His life would have lived up to skeptics’ expectations of Him as a good man or a prophet had He not done what He did this weekend many years ago.
He fed His disciples.
He prayed to His Father.
He was betrayed by His friend.
He was arrested by the government.
He was crucified by the people.
He died a sinner’s death.
He rose from the dead.
I can’t help but be reminded of my life without Jesus, the path it was headed down, when I think about this weekend. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost when He came to the earth. And I was definitely someone who was lost. Usually, the grace-given redemption is what I focus on and celebrate during Easter. But this year, God has my eyes turned towards a different part of the weekend.
And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” –Luke 22:41-42
I’ve noticed recently that I’ve started labeling myself as that girl who loves India, who has a heart for trafficking, who is working towards making her dreams (whatever they may be) come to reality. Any other thing that God brings in my path, surely, isn’t for me, isn’t where I’m supposed to go, isn’t what I’m supposed to do.
Let me tell you…this mindset is binding and suffocating. I have cut off any other possibility that God has in store for me because, if I’m truly honest, I’ve already told people that my life will be spent in South Asia fighting trafficking; I’m way too prideful in myself and definitely not trusting enough in God to say or do otherwise. Along the road, I’ve shifted my focus from God’s will to my own, identifying my life by a country, an injustice, a desire…and not by God.
I cannot be an effective servant of God when I am glorifying the things in this earth. I need to step back, evaluate my perspective, and shift things around. I must loosen my hands and release the places, the people, the passions so I can identify and walk solely with the God who longs to be glorified through my life, and nothing more. For it is when I am directed towards the things of earth that they become the idols and the desires of my worship, which is the very opposite of why Jesus died and rose to life.
I don’t say this to share that I’m not going to South Asia to fight trafficking. Maybe that’s where God will lead me. Maybe it’s not. It’s not bad to feel drawn towards a specific country or cause. I guess this is more of a post for my heart to be reminded that God’s will is best for my life, even if it’s not what I have planned. To not be bound to my path, but to be open to His leading and guidance, which is where I will find the most peace. Ministry isn’t about a place or a passion; it’s about glorifying God and having His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
That’s what Jesus prayed the night before He died. Why wouldn’t I pray the same? Who knows where I might end up if God is holding my hand.