A Revelation of the Cross
My current walking pace is very slow due to aching and painful muscles – a symptom of ‘CFS’ – and so I was careful not to rush myself and cause problems later. I walked past the Farmhouse Cottages: warmed by the Christmas glow of lights at the windows, and then onward along an avenue of trees that leads to the Cross. There was no one around at that time of the morning and so as I drew closer, I gave the Lord my audible invitation to touch me at the very roots of my soul and to set me free from any burdens or blockages to my healing. In return, I told Him I would bow and weep and fall at His feet in repentance.
The presence of God grew stronger as I closed the gate at the end of the pathway. I was now in the vicinity of the Cross and stepped warily forward. The sensation of being so high at the final leg of the ridge made me feel quite dizzy. There was a disarming stillness, given its’ elevation so high on the mountain. My response was to remain, similarly, silent.
I stood there, right in front of the Cross, noticing pieces of paper with written prayers pinned at its’ base. I was too engaged with the inexplicable silence to engage in prayer myself and felt resigned that, whatever God would do in my soul to deliver me from my fears and pains, He would do it sovereignly – without my needing to pray. But alas, He didn’t!
I tried moving to a different position, stepping back a few paces to take in the whole of the Cross set against a wintery landscape. But still – nothing!
Maybe, I thought, if I just walked around the vicinity of the Cross the Lord would have an opportunity to catch me unawares. Again: nothing! In fact, such was the distinct absence of anything at all, I decided to sit on the bench close by and just pray. As I prepared myself mentally to repent of any sins that came to mind, I gazed at the Cross once more; only this time I saw it as a jubilant and joyful statement and evidence of God’s enormous love for me: His ultimate victory over sin, sickness, disease, death and hell! Such was the revelation to my heart at that time I uncontrollably exploded in deep laughter. I looked around, embarrassed that I might have been overheard by someone; but no, there was no one there except little old me and the enormity of God’s love and Grace.
I stood up; did some stretches and touched my toes; don’t quite know why but it seemed a good idea at the time! I looked at the Cross once again and restrained the temptation to force a soul-ish laugh; but once again: a deep laugh emanated from a place within me I never knew existed. And then, as my laughing transposed into a coughing fit, it occurred to me that – far from the Cross being a sombre religious sign of our need of repentance; it is also – and primarily – a symbol of Victory! The battle is won. The Devil is defeated. Eternal life is here right now in my heart. Yes, there are tribulations in life, but I am to ‘be of good cheer’ for Christ has overcome the World. I haven’t overcome the World, but ‘in Him’ – His Resurrection life – I have! It is in His inexplicable freedom that I laugh from the very depths of my being. It’s true that I have problems with ill health; I have issues relating to all manner and aspects of life. And just like nature: it rains, it floods, it snows, it burns the ground in the summer and blows so fiercely in the winter it uproots trees and bury’s cars, homes and people’s properties with snow! And yet, behind all the symptoms of a ‘Fallen World’ is the unseen reality of Eternal life. Heaven itself is in our hearts when we embrace the Cross of Jesus. Too often I look only at the reasons for Jesus dying on the Cross for my sins, rather than the greater power of Him having forgiven my sins and bringing me to the Father – forever!
This is where my healing lies: in the Blessing that is already mine. It is in the joy of His Eternal life that I have strength. It is in wallowing in His presence: in praising Him, worshipping Him, loving Him, thanking Him and welcoming Him. This is true freedom! In art, music, family, fellowship – indeed in every aspect of life – His Christian Gifts I Celebrate.
From the stand point of the Earth – from this side of the Cross – I pray, I plead, I sing, I repent and petition God to be set free. But from the other side of the Cross, so to speak, I’m already free!
I decided at that moment, I no longer want to be stuck on this side of the Cross: in ‘Religious activities;’ but to recognise that in any fleshly activity the sole purpose is to enter in to His rest – at the other side of the Cross!
This is, for me, true humility: to recognise the smallness of my life – depicted as the small area of ground at the edge of the ridge where I was seated – compared to the vastness of the valley below, beyond the Cross, with its’ winding rivers, hills and mountains stretching into the far, far distance – as though into ‘Eternity.’
Even as I sat there on the bench, wiping tears of joy from my eyes, I was beginning to slip back into a subtle and sentimental form of religion: “Woe is me; wretch that I am, that God should accept my prayers and reach down to me…” No! No! No! This is classic shame-based attitude that keeps us in bondage to fears. It is not conducive to the freedom of Christ’s Resurrection life living in me, to dwell on what is wrong. It is an insult to God, denying the finished work of the Cross.
If only, I thought, I could ‘package’ my experience of pure joy I’d found beyond the Cross and switch it on as and when I feel… Wouldn’t that be awesome! Or what about ‘packaging it’ and offering it to others… But it doesn’t happen that way. It catches one unawares, somehow. In humility and submission is the way of God’s grace It is a gift that, for some reason, is being poured out right here in Ffald-y-Brenin. Just imagine… the scene is set: ‘A beautiful place high on the hills of Wales; a peace so tangible you could ‘cut it with a knife!’ A welcoming community living here and encouraging the simplistic life of prayer, creativity, community living and pure rest. The ingredients are all in place; the stage is set! It only needs for me to be here and to allow myself to be ‘wooed’ by my Heavenly Father: to go, supernaturally, beyond the finished work of the Cross, and into His infinite wisdom and pure love. Wow! Isn’t that the closest we will ever be to Heaven here on Earth!
Copyright Peter j Foster 2011
Peter j Foster is a Christian Life Coach at: http://www.peterjfoster.co.uk
How could Christian Life Coaching help you? I offer a FREE and without obligation ‘Taster’ Session. Please Click Here
Please feel free to contact me concerning any aspect of your Christian Life that needs a ‘Breakthrough!’ Spirit . Soul . Body.
God’s Love revealed
“Thank you for all your help in the coaching sessions. I have managed to learn where I’m at and how to start making changes in how I do things. Most importantly cultivating and drilling into myself the fact that God loves me and all things shall be added unto me.” C. Berks, UK