I LOVE to swim! I have not always been good at it. It amazes me how people can just toss children into water and they just magically learn to swim. One summer day, my sister and I visited her friend Jennifer. Jennifer's family had an in-ground pool. I watched and listened to the music as those two played in the pool. As they got out of the pool and dried off, I walked around the perimeter of the pool dipping my foot in just to get it wet. And in a split second I lost balance and fell in. I could not swim. I struggled to get air as it felt like the water enclosed and engulfed me. I choked and I splashed. I began to lose hope. Thoughts that my sister and her friend forgot about me filled my head as I was left to die. I was scared in that moment. And that moment felt like eternity. If I could have gotten a word out, it would have been a cry for help. "Save me!" But I could not because every I opened my mouth to breathe or shout, my lungs filled up with water. Luckily I did not drown that day. My sister came to my aid and my silent prayers.
It was a Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The scriptures say the people laid down their clothes and and cut palm tree limbs before Him as they cried out "Hosanna!" It is interesting how this word is used only in this moment. Some scholars suggest that hosanna was used as a praise in the gospels and not the Hebrew translation of "hosia na" we find in Psalms meaning "Lord save us," or "save us now!" But I would like to take a look it at this passage of scripture with the Hebrew translation and look at four things the Lord does immediately after these shouts for deliverance.
In Matthew, the scriptures say that Jesus' first action after the people asked them to save them is that he went into the temple. In the temple he "cleaned up the mess" and then healed. When we ask for help from God, do we clean up our own house or our lives? Is there something that is blocking the healing power of the Lord in our life?
Jesus then gave the disciples a lesson on faith. Using a fig tree as an example, the tree was barren and so he eliminated it. Saying that if we have faith but do not grow it, that it will die. But with strong faith, we can move mountains.
Then Jesus teaches with a parable. He gives a story of a man with two sons. The man tells one son to go and work and the son says he will not. That son later repents and goes to work. The man goes to the second son and ask the same. This son says he will go work, but does not. Which son do you relate to?
Jesus continues to challenge the people as well and gets challenged himself all the way to the cross. However, the last parable he teaches in this chapter says that we will either fall upon the rock and be broken, or allow the rock to fall upon us and be grinned away.
What is ironic is though I learned early on that I could not swim, my father built an in-ground pool and taught us all how to swim. Where I was weak, my father made me stronger and I love it!
We come to "hosanna" points in our lives. This is where Jesus shows up. And this idea that He can save us enters our minds. He can save us from ourselves. He can save our relationships. He can save our lives. And we give into the Spirit and we ask for that deliverance.
And He comes in like a wrecking ball showing us things that stand between us and Him. And He can help us clean those things up and He can heal us, if we ask in prayer and in faith and continue to grow.
And then he tells us to go love our neighbors and our enemies. Going to all nations teaching what he has commanded. And we say "Okay" and do not go. Or go and we love, but we don't love that one guy who cut us off in traffic. Or we say no, we cannot go today. And we get convicted and we repent and go.
Just like a plant, if it is not growing, its dying. We too, can either stay stagnate and be crushed or wither away. Or we can fall on our knees and become broken and weak. And we can allow the Father to strengthen us in our short comings. And allow him to take something like our flesh that will kill us, and grant us opportunity to grow strong, grow in love, and grow in faith, loving every step of the way.
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