Father, make us a channel of blessing. Guide us as we take each breath with You. As the sun shines through the front room window of our home and I see green grass peeking through the snow, I am reminded of the new hope we have in Christ. This is not a fragile hope, which will break under life’s trials. This is a real and constant hope. It is a hope that sustains us through life’s blows. Within it is a spiritual love that defies reason. This hope must be taken on faith. If we over-analyze it the beauty, depth and breadth of Christ’s love for us will be lost. The child-like wonder of it will not be seen. The abounding joy of this hope will not be felt.
As we near Easter let us embrace the new hope we have in Christ. God loves you so much that He gave His one and only Son for you. He allowed His Son to endure barbaric torture, humiliation, a mocking crown of thorns upon His head, the exhaustion of carrying the Cross, life draining from His body, getting harder to breathe with each second, denial from His followers and betrayal by Judas Iscariot for you.
The greatest suffering Christ endures is being abandoned by His own Father. How would you feel if your father abandoned you when you are a child? You would likely feel lost, alone, terrified. Some reading this prayer will have felt the pain of being abandoned. It hurts. It stings. I know. In the sickness of my father’s mind with schizophrenia, I as a child am often rejected by him. I am told I will always be a failure. It is like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. My father is gentle one moment and cruel the next. I am beaten both physically and emotionally. After over 40 years I begin the painful process of forgiving him – of remembering the ways my father showed his love for me.
Remember that Christ as He was dying on the Cross said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34, KJV). He doesn’t think of Himself. He thinks of others. He asks His Father to forgive those responsible for His death.
Dearly beloved, always remember Christ’s love conquers hate. His love soothes. His love heals. It puts a new song in our hearts.
Ask that every beat of your heart will be filled with an overflowing love for others. Listen to that still small voice of your Father.
Prayerfully consider how you can be a blessing to others.
Kevin Osborne is training to become a psychotherapist, priest and chaplain through St. James the Elder University in Jacksonville, Florida. He and his wife, Karen, plan to open a counselling practice. Karen is taking graduate divinity studies at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. Kevin is planning on taking additional graduate studies there. He is a member of The Word Guild, a Christian writer’s group in Canada.
Our greatest calling is to be servants of our Lord wherever He calls us to go.