Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2nd Stop on the Max Marathon

Just Like Jesus, is the second book I read through on my Max Marathon. It was jammed packed with good reminders about what it looks like to be Just Like Jesus( go figure).

I have to say, as I read each chapter I was again reminded of how much I am NOT Just Like Jesus.! Truly by the end of this book I felt like having a lil pitty party because of how far from the reminders in this book I really am.
The past month has been one challenge after another. Maybe that is why I have felt so much like a schmuck because all my schmuckiness has been brought to the surface by these events. I could go into great lengths to tell you all the gorey details but despite the fact that I have been brought to a place of total exhaustion with these trials I am not giving up. I can't give up. I want to see the end of this movie that is my life and I want it to be a happy ending.

So, just about the time I was going to self this one again for it's ability to make me feel like a total schmuck I came to the end. The final chapter is called, Finishing Strong An Enduring Heart.
Max has such a great way of explaining the human plight. He opens the final chapter talking about unfinished projects and how we all fall prey to them from time to time. We set out to do something with the best intentions and somewhere along the way we lose the motivation to stick with it.
Just when I thought I was in for the final blow to my character, being that I just walked away from one of the biggest financial responsibilities in my adult life, he says it's probably good that we don't finish everything we set out to do. Wait, what? Yep, he says, " My desire is to encourage you to finish the right thing. Certain races are optional - like washboard abs and speed reading. Other races are essential- like the race of faith."

He then goes on to say, "How can our hearts have the endurance Jesus had? By focusing where Jesus focused: the joy set before him." Heb 12:2

This made me think of joy and what really brings me joy. What is the joy set before me? I have been thinking a lot about joy lately because it seems I have had many, many things that have tried to rob me of my joy but I am not going down that easy.
I thought instantly of my family. My husband. My children. My friends. But even more than all of them Jesus brings me joy. Knowing him not for what he gives or what he has done but just for him. Who HE is right now to me, is pure joy . Then I thought if I could have all the time in the world with all of them it would be so nice. Then it brought me back around to the joy that was set before Jesus. What got him through all the times when he sat across from Judas knowing full well what he was going to do? What got him through the time when he was spit on and beaten and he could have said one word to stop it all but he didn't?

In all my trials I am reminded I have not been tried as much as Jesus was, not even close. What got him through all of those trials? I think He knew there would be a day when he would have all the time(eternity to be exact) with the ones he loved and he wanted everyone to make it to that place. It reminded me of what is ahead of me as well as what is really important right now. Jesus had more than just the hope of what was ahead, he KNEW what was ahead having been there already and he not only wanted to get back there but to have everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE there with him to enjoy it even more!! It is a good reason not to give up, don't ya think?

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