For The Joy
A couple years ago, I realized that I can tell how much my brain needs a break by the size of the DIY project I’m working on. No project = I’m doing great. Medium project = I need to unwind. This week, I decided to build myself a writing cabin.
I’m not sure why making something calms my mind and slows me down but, needless to say, I don’t have a lot to share in the form of devotional or teaching this week.
Which is why I decided to share a testimony instead.
This past week as I dragged lumber through the forest, one thing became very clear—wood is heavy. Really heavy.
As I pushed and pulled my third load down a cliff, across a creek, and up a hill, I started seeing spots and rethinking my normal, “I can do this” mentality. I was breathing so hard I think I swallowed a few mosquitoes and my muscles were screaming. Afterward, I didn’t want to do anything but sit.
Sit and think.
Maybe that’s how DIY helps my mind calm because carrying that wood got me to thinking about Jesus. About how the cross was so heavy that Simon of Cyrene had to help him carry the load.
At any point, I could have stopped carrying lumber. I don’t have to build this project. Really, at any point Jesus could have stopped. He didn’t have to climb that hill. But—even when the load got so heavy that he couldn’t physically drag his own cross—he never stopped.
Hebrews 12:2 came to mind. All week, the words—who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame—rolled over and over through my mind. I kept asking, “What joy? What could possibly be worth it? What does that even mean?”
I had no clue.
When John Burke opened PPCC’s service Sunday morning, the first verse out of his mouth was Hebrews 12:2. He asked the congregation, “Do you want to know what the joy was that was set before him?”
You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was physically shaking my head yes.
John went on to say, “It was you and me.”
In all of my contemplation over the verse, this wasn’t a possibility I let myself seriously consider. Am I really Jesus’ prize? Am I the thought that he held in his mind as he pushed on towards his goal?
In the Divine Conquest (re-titled The Pursuit of Man), A.W. Tozer said, “Holy feeling had an important place in the life of our Lord. ‘For the joy that was set before Him’ He endured the cross and despised its shame. He pictured Himself crying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’”
And that is a thought that calms my mind.