By Inspirational Columnist and Author: Linda Mose Meadows


However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--
1 Corinthians 2:9

Sunday, April 27, 2014

EXPERIENCING RENEWAL & TRANSFORMATION ON GOOD FRIDAY!



Good Friday collage created by Linda Mose Meadows


"Kites,rise highest against the wind, not with it." Sir Winston Churchhill

On Good Friday I shared reflections at St. John Episcopal Church of New Haven's 7 Last Words "I Thirst "(John 19:28). This power packed afternoon examined Jesus Christ's human response during a horrific crucifixion. The other esteemed participants were: The Rev. Canon George Kovoor, Dr. Grace Kim, Dr. John Hare, Mrs. Terry Hare (cellist) and Mr. Robert Messore (guitarist). 

I shared a fascinating account about a young man, Kingsley who lived in the Cameroon (West Africa), resided in cramp, overrun dwellings with his family, worked as an underpaid life guard and was determined to have a better life. On his second attempt he and his family made the difficult and excruciating decision to scrape their meager earnings together and allow Kingsley to venture on to Europe. Long story short, Kingsley survived a horrific journey, several set-backs, including being stranded in the Sahara Desert and enduring an overcrowded rusty boat ride nearly capsizing! Kingsley clearly shares that his life is “very, very hard” but feels that there must be a solution for a better life.  He's a young man in a valley depressed situation and is seeking refuge outside of his familiar surroundings. Admittedly life’s setbacks and hardships will cause you to hang your head, bury your head in the chest of loved ones and sob. And  these occurrences may just catapult you in the hands of the wicked who intend to crucify you. Oh it's harrowing and just possibly you end up facing a treacherous shore with a fleet of rusty boats and no life-jacket. But what does this have to do with Jesus, so glad you asked?  I believe there's a distinct correlation with being thirsty and yearning for more of life. Yes, more choices, more freedom, more! Jesus is clear about his need and his unnerving pain. Kingsley may not have endured the pain Jesus suffered but there is a deep down desire for relief! Surely it's not the relief which 5th Avenue and Wall Street declare is needed. But I discern that more agape love, peace, joy and encounters that keep us humbly seeking God’s grace and mercy are the order of the day.

CeCe Winans’ lyrics aptly describe what it means to thirst for God”:

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

Oh Lord, we are waiting
Let Your river flow
Come flood our hearts again
Quench our thirsty souls

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

Oh Lord, we are waiting
Let Your river flow
Come flood our hearts again
Quench our thirsty souls

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

We thirst for You, we search for You
In a dry and barren land we're longing for Your hand
To guide us to a place where You can cleanse us with Your rain
Baptize us once again we thirst for You

 http://www.songlyrics.com/cece-winans/thirst-for-you-lyrics/#o3Eep0s2HsMz2tRb.99



Thank God there are power packed scriptures that remind us how to quench our spiritual thirst:

John 4:14 (ESV) 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[a] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 7:37 (ESV) Rivers of Living Water 37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

Isaiah 44:3 (ESV) 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,    and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,    and my blessing on your descendants.

John 19:28 (ESV) The Death of Jesus 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”

John 7:38 (ESV) 38 Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”


Lessons Jesus Teaches When He Utters “I Thirst.”

Endurance-we must have endurance and not give up or give in! Endure hardships, calamity, tests, even exposure for the world to scrutinize. Jesus remained on the cross, the scriptures were fulfilled because of his obedience. We should thank God for Jesus having an obedient spirit! What often appears and finality is not entire story. Your triumphant moment is yet to be revealed. As He endured the suffering and shame on Good Friday, Easter morning was on the horizon. On lookers could only see what they saw.

Prayer- Jesus teaches us to remain steadfast and in a posture of prayer. Surrender your will, even when faced with righteous indignation, surrender! Whisper in faint tones, cry out if you must-especially when we are facing desert experiences, it’s essential that we thirst for more of God. Seek Him through studying the word of God. Don’t know what to pray, pray the scripture, use those very words when you need direction. More of Him and less of _____________            ( you complete the sentence).  The divine Jesus is draped in humanity audibly expressing a real need to be rescued! This simple petition with the life altering sentiment states “I thirst!”

Drink- In other words, “Lord I need you to save me right now!” Remember Jesus’ words to the woman at the well in John 4:14 ESV 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[a] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus “the bread of heaven”, the giver of life needs a lifeline! He goes directly to the source. Mimic that and be assured that God knows what’s happening to you.

Remain Humble- Jesus has modeled for us bold humility! He didn’t operate in his might to obliterate all those that betrayed and him, instead he remained suffocating and drowning in his own blood, body sagging from the pull, weight and gravity of a mean, cruel life experience. The enormity at that moment was more than his body, soul and spirit could sustain! Heaven must have wept for our crucified Lord & Savior. 

Acknowledge Your Fears-Jesus demonstrates for us that fear is natural but we must not allow it to navigate our decisions. And more importantly not to grumble when the world gives us sour grapes!! It’s prophetic indeed in Psalm 69:21 “They gave me poison for food and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.” And I recall Jesus stating in John 6:51 ESV ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Be Transformed & Enjoy The Living Water-And finally brothers and sisters in Christ we can partake in our transformation and declare that: “When you/ [insert your name] pass through the waters, [Jesus] will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2  

And why is that? Because God has a plan to prosper and not harm you! Jeremiah 29:11 assures me of all of this. Kingsley reaches his destination, weary and warn but he makes it! Surely you can too! Thirsty, go on friends drink up!

Transformed by the Love of God, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing  A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007) 

Inspirational Author & Columnist, Linda Mose Meadows

Inspirational Author & Columnist, Linda Mose Meadows
Rickey and Linda Meadows

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THE BLESSEDNESS OF BELIEVING: A DEVOTIONAL JOURNEY OF LIFE'S LESSONS AND GOD'S PROMISES By LINDA MOSE MEADOWS

"The Blessedness of Believing: A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises is expressly written with a heart that seeks after the righteousness of God with uplifting personal sentiments and prayers, referencing Holy Scripture, encouraging lyrics and deep expressions of faith ."

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Linda