Through the earth and through the nation, the completion was heard.
“It is finished.”
Yes, he said it.
It was for you and for me.
The conniving and all the striving…
The shedding of blood…
Broke it free.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Are you involved in your community? If so, what do you do? Are you living in community? It sounds like the same thing, but it isn’t. Today’s podcast episode deals with the gift of community. Maybe in our everyday world, we might not think of community as a gift. However, it is. Let’s tune in to the episode and take a listen.
There are a lot of things that happen in life that we are just not prepared for handling. As a matter of fact, if God revealed to us what was on the way, we’d take off running in the other direction. Sometimes one thing happens, and that one thing ends up changing your entire world for what you know it to be.
That is what happened to Naomi. She was
surprised by disappointment, and then surprised by provision.
Naomi and her husband Elimelech, and their
two sons decided to leave Bethlehem and reside in Moab because of the
famine. Instead of life getting better at this point, it got worse.
Elimelech died. Their two sons found wives and got married. Then
their two sons died.
Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, since
she heard that they had bread again. She figured that this might be a
small sign of God’s provision. Naomi told her two daughters-in-law to
head back to their homelands so that they could find husbands, since she didn’t
have any more sons. Orpah left, but Ruth decided to stay:
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16, KJV)
When they returned to Bethlehem, it was evident that
Naomi was surprised by God’s provision:
So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And
it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved
about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me
Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi,
seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty
hath afflicted me?
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her
daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they
came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest. (Ruth 1: 19-22, KJV)
Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a clue that going
back to Bethlehem would bring surprise provision itself. They went back
for bread. God had a little bit more than bread waiting for them.
He slowly began to reveal his plan.
Ruth went out to glean corn, and she met a man named
Boaz. They had a conversation, and Boaz let on to Ruth that God was
recompensing her work for her full diligence:
And Boaz answered
and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto
thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy
father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people
which thou knewest not heretofore.
The Lord recompense
thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
2: 11-12, KJV)
When Ruth arrived back home, Naomi questioned her
about the food. Ruth told her that she had met a man by the name of
Boaz. Naomi knew this was good news:
And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be
he of the Lord,
who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi
said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. (Ruth
2: 20, KJV )
According to the law, a kinsmen could be the
redeemer if a relative died. In this case, since Boaz was a kinsmen, he
could redeem the land that belonged to Elimelech and his two sons.
However, there was a kinsmen even closer than Boaz. This meant that he
had first pick. This relative didn’t want to forfeit his own inheritance.
Therefore, Boaz became the kinsmen redeemer.
And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all
the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was
Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.
Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of
Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon
his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his
brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. (Ruth 4: 9-10, KJV)
What a surprise! The women encouraged
Naomi, telling her that God hadn’t forgotten about her:
And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be
the Lord, which
hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in
And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy
life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth
thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. (Ruth 4: 14-15, KJV)
My Surprise Disappointment
At the age of 25, I had my surprise
disappointment as well. I was pregnant with my first child, and I worked
all the way up to the day before delivery. At the time, I was the
breadwinner for the household, and I had all of the family health insurance in
my name. My son had his days and nights mixed up, and so for almost six
weeks, I had between two to three hours of consecutive sleep during the
night. I was at the point of extreme exhaustion, and I could tell that my
blood pressure was up.
This was confirmed when the home nurse came
out to check on me. As soon as she checked my blood pressure, she knew
that it was from lack of sleep. Four days before my six weeks was up, my
son started sleeping through the night for four consecutive
hours. However, I knew that I would
need two extra weeks of this before returning to work, or else my health would
I called my job and requested an additional two weeks off. I was informed that if I didn’t come back right away, it would be considered job abandonment. With $50 left to my name, and no emergency money, this was a hard call. I hung up the phone, and then wrestled with what to do. However, I also knew that if they were like this about my health, then they would be like this about my son’s health as well. I decided not to go back, not sure of how I would make it.
My Surprise Provision
My son was almost three months old when I
took him to his three-month checkup. After the appointment, I decided to
visit my old job, which was five minutes away. I got caught up with
everyone, and my old boss asked me when I would return to work. I told my
old boss what happened, and he said,” Just like that?”. I replied,” Yes,
just like that. End of story.” We laughed, and he asked me what I thought
of working for him again. I thought he was joking, but he was dead
serious. What a surprise!
Within two weeks, I was back to working
again. In the beginning, I worked a five-day week, then a 10 hour
four-day week while my son was little, before moving on to a different
job. I didn’t know, but God knew that his divine providence was waiting
for me at this place. Like Naomi, All I had to do was to go back and get
Thank you for helping us to step out on faith, even when we are not sure
what you have in store for us. In your name,
Background on Declaration: The last poem that I wrote was entitled, “Sin”, and it can be found here. Today’s poem, “Declaration”, makes one take time to think about events that occurred leading up to the death of Jesus, as he hung on the cross.
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
The last poem that I wrote was entitled, “Gratitude, Gratitude”, and it can be found here. Today’s poem takes you on a winding adventure of why I have chosen to write. Please feel free to send in your comments below on why it is that you have chosen the path of writing.
Why I Write
I write from the heart.
No, it’s not just a part.
It’s the pain and the struggles.
It’s the drama and the tuggles.
The laughter and the cries.
The births and the byes.
The ins and the outs.
The moments filled with doubt.
The pushing past surviving.
The greeting of the thriving.
The heartaches and the pain.
The neverending rain.
The beauty and the ashes.
The life that’s filled with dashes.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
The week of Thanksgiving has finally arrived. I hope that this week brings even more gratitude to your hearts as we deal with the messiness of life. If you need a story to help to remind you of this, read “Gratitude Check” here.
Part of Living.
All a part of giving thanks.
Christ He Died.
They denied him all the ranks.
Crown of thorns in his head.
And they pierced him in his side.
Took our pain.
For our gain,
And then humbly he died.
With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. (Ezra 3: 11)
At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. (Nehemiah 12: 27)
The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. (Isaiah 51: 3)
Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10: 16)
You can always tell what things are important to Jesus. That is why his last three words on the cross summed up everything: “It is finished.” He already knows the things that keep a high level of stronghold on us. Shame and rejection are just two of them. Shame is when we are perceiving ourselves as bad. This perception can be due to issues playing out in any of the following areas: financial, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, physical, and mental. Because we are all broken, we dump shame on ourselves, and then unfortunately we dump shame on others. Last week, we discussed the shame aspect of trauma here. When we wallow in shame, then we see ourselves as unworthy. We become deficient in self-worth. What did the scripture say about our actions in regards to shame? “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Rejection: It is Finished
Rejection hits the same brain wires as when we experience physical pain. When rejection plays out, we receive the hidden message, “You are not good enough”. You need to prove yourself. The next natural response to not being “good enough”, is trying to figure out what we need to do in order to qualify. Unfortunately, depending on our background, this could turn into a dangerous ground for Satan to get a foothold. Jesus was despised and rejected as he planned to take his place on the cross. He didn’t need to prove himself, or figure out how to get someone to like him because God, his Father, was all the approval that he needed, and Jesus is all the approval that we need. His life in exchange for our freedom: He was despised and rejected–a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Isaiah 53: 3
We can finally release all of the shame and rejection on the cross by remembering the last three words that Jesus said, ” It is finished”.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30