John 15:13, NIV
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Every time I read this verse I’m reminded of what our Lord Jesus did for every one of us by dying on the cross. He took every sin upon Himself, and so paid the price for us to stand in righteousness before God. This is something none of us could have done, as, unlike us, Jesus was completely without sin. But quite apart from that, I don`t think anyone would be willing to pay this price for the whole of mankind.
Jesus was able to lay down His life for us. In my understanding that means He let go of all personal rights, privileges and comforts. It means He lived a life completely devoted to others and their well-being; always putting His own needs behind those of others.
None of us could do what Jesus did, but there are many ways we can lay down our lives for others. We can lay our lives down, for example, by reaching out to those in need, feeding the hungry, and caring for the elderly and orphans, all of which is so necessary in the Kingdom of God.
Recently I came to the realisation that we can lay down our life in another way. It may be the Lord calls us to walk a road of healing with someone close to us, taking years. We might not even realise this is the road we’re walking, but the Lord chose us, because He knew that we would be able to do this through His grace.
This can be a difficult walk, because we could often feel unimportant and overlooked, not knowing why we’re in this situation. At times we may feel our opinion doesn`t count and that we are having to take a back seat in some areas of our life. Feelings of rebelliousness and helplessness may arise. At times we feel we’re just hitting a wall, and the breakthrough we’ve been praying and trusting the Lord for so long seems too far away.
Take heart dear ones. The Lord is closer than you realise. He’s in you, with you and growing you along the way. He notices you and will give you the strength to carry on. Hold on to His promises and never stop believing. His words are true and you’re precious in His sight. You’re not overlooked. Remember your healing is also happening whilst you’re on this journey. Start by learning to pour your heart out to the Lord. We’re all broken vessels in need of the Lord`s loving restoration, and the Lord shapes us through the people in our lives.
‘Jesus lived out compassion because He loved and His acts of love gave hope to those whose lives He touched’ (Denise Ackermann).
Prayer: Jesus, what a joy to know that You’re my strength! Thank You that I matter to You, and You have my well-being in Your loving hands. Help me to be who You want me to be for the people in my life. Show me how to lay down my life without allowing others to trample on me. Amen.