Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Calvary love…


She just turned three last month, but the wisdom of my little blonde, blue-eyed granddaughter amazes me.

The other day she tells me, “Jesus is God”, and I think to myself how she already has the most basic fundamental truth of Christianity in her mind and heart.

She loves to play with the little wooden crosses I have at my house.

She talks about Jesus dying on the cross and then she puts a cross up to my husband’s forehead and she says, “Papa, you die on the cross”, and her words are echoing in my heart days later.

I used to pray that Jesus would help me to live the crucified life, and I think “when and why did I stop praying like that?”.

I stopped because He answered.

He took me, took us, through the wilderness, through the testing, through the fire.

I didn’t like it.

So I stopped asking.

I think I’m sacrificing, living the crucified life, when…

…He prompts me to put money in the offering that I’ve saved for something else

…I spend my time helping or serving someone else instead of doing what I’d rather be doing

…my children and grandchildren leave because they’re serving Him on the mission field.

Yet, in our very congregation, sits a man who used to live in a communist country, and he went to prison for His faith.  While he was in prison his wife was fired from her job because she refused to sign papers renouncing Christ.  She had to trust God for supernatural provision for herself and her children while her husband was in jail.

My daughter calls my husband early Sunday morning and tells her dad to turn on CNN.  The news is of a teacher killed in Yemen, killed for his faith.  He’s so young.  He leaves a wife and children and parents and a brother who is a missionary in Germany…a brother who is a missionary from the same missions sending organization as my daughter. 

I realize I know nothing of real sacrifice, and very little of Calvary love.

God, forgive me.

Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, and one of my heroes wrote:

If I hold on to choices of any kind, just because they are my choices..

if I give more room to my private likes and dislikes…

if I am soft on myself and slide easily and comfortable into the vice of self-pity and eliciting sympathy…

if I do not, by the grace of God, build a fortress around my inner man to protect it from my own soulishness…

if the praise of others elates me…

if the blame of others depresses me…

if I cannot rest when I am misunderstood, without defending myself…

if I love to be loved, more than to give love…

if I love to be served, more than serving…

then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Still following,




  1. I love the way you've illustrated the ways we can gauge whether we're expressing Calvary love. That can be so elusive to understand. Beautifully written, Elizabeth!

  2. This is beautiful. You always give me things to think about.

  3. Speechless this morning.

    I can not wait to read this to the husband and send it to the daughters. God spoke.

  4. Beautiful! Words so true!

  5. I <3 Amy Carmicheal. God has really been dealing with me about living a crucified life as well. In fact, one of the pastors at church recently said, "Jesus died at Gethsemane, but He gave His life at the cross." He died when He gave His will over to His Father, and after the decision was made, there was no turning back.

  6. boy, do I feel your heart in this post. It started with those little wooden crosses – I couldn't take MY eyes off of them – and in what your granddaughter taught you – what you CHOSE to learn – and then your honesty about speaking to God – and then – and THEN those words of Amy Carmichael that I had never heard. I was blessed by this – I camped out on those words for a little while before I left – thank you for this Elizabeth – this was a gift to read.


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