The Search for Acceptance-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

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                                                                 The Search for Acceptance

 

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thanks for joining me for a little break away from it all, a sort of Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power. Grab your coffee and come on in.

Have you ever been around a group of people and wished you fit in with them, shared some of their secrets that they aren’t talking about because you’re there? Have you ever wanted to belong so bad that you isolated because of the hopelessness that not belonging can bring? More and more I am hearing of people losing their way all in search of acceptance. High school students are turning to drugs and sexual exploitation as a means to acceptance. Marriages are falling apart because of the lack of love and acceptance. I pray that these words lift that dark cloud and illuminate the truth; that the One who has already accepted you is waiting for your acceptance!

Come with me to a place called the Garden of Gethsemane. [Gethsemane is actually two Hebrew words: Gat, which means a winepress, and Shamnin, plural of Shemen, which means oil. There is so much symbolism here, but the condensed version is that oil represents the presence of His Spirit and Gethsemane is the “place where olive oil — His presence — is pressed.”] It’s an old, old garden but not full of flowers, as the word “garden” can sometimes paint in our imagination. But there are lots and lots of olive trees and a sort of winding walkway. It was in this garden so long ago that Christ contemplated and agonized over our acceptance and He determined it once and for all.

Oh, who do we have here? To the right of us is a group of men, it looks to be about eight of them, I think. I recognize them as some of Jesus’ disciples. Oh, and just a stone’s throw from them across the walkway are three other men. Do you see them? That’s Peter, and James and John, three more of His disciples. I can’t really see what they are doing but it looks like they are huddled together pretty close. Everyone looks so sad.

I hear someone crying and talking. Where is that sound coming from? Look! It is Jesus and He is on His face right now. Shhh, I want to hear what He’s saying. “O’ My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” I wonder what He means by – Uh-oh, He’s looking up right now and He looks so sad, like he’s oozing with exceeding sorrow. His sweat looks like drops of blood. Wow, I can’t even imagine the intensity of His sorrow, let alone praying like that.

Oh, He’s getting up right now. Where’s He going? Oh, He’s walking over to His disciples who are all — no they are not sleeping! Jesus doesn’t look angry but he does look anguished. He’s telling them something. I want to hear what it is. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.” Hmmm, I wonder why He’s telling them these things.

Where’s He going? He’s going back to where He was when we first got here. He’s praying again. Why is He saying the same thing? What cup is He talking about that he is asking to pass by Him?

If you look back at the disciples, they are asleep again! What in the world is going on here? Why are their eyes so heavy? This place is so sad, so overwhelmingly ominous. What is all the commotion? Who are all those soldiers? What in the world . . . Why are they arresting Jesus?

That was just the beginning of true acceptance for you and me. To go into more detail would take weeks, plus it’s so very much to process for our coffee hour. Let me just finish up with a very simple answer that answers all of those questions. IMG_4810Jesus always knew what His purpose was on this earth, and it was in the Garden of Gethsemane that He felt the severity of it, the cost of it. The realization that He would be separated from His Father for those three days to pay for our acceptance was almost more than He could bear, but He did it and because He did, you and I can have victory in this life and rise above the trials that inevitably come upon us like the waves of an ocean.

See, though we are all born with a desire for acceptance by others, true acceptance does not involve compromising our convictions. True acceptance begins when we accept His gift of accepting us first just because He loves us. So when you’re feeling alone in this world, remember The One who accepted you long ago and agonized over you in the Garden of Gethsemane before enduring what none of us could ever endure is waiting for you to accept Him and His gift of acceptance.

May you rise to the occasion and be blessed by His acceptance,

Evinda

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