The other day while out on my run, I started thinking about how it is often our nature to stop short. We stop short when we extend praises. We stop short when we seek healing. We show our love and appreciation half-heartedly all the time.
It was a weird round about way that prompted my mind to go down this path. The song Beauty of the Cross began to play as I ran along.
At the cross I find the beauty of Your matchless grace
At the cross I see a King who died to take my place
It’s the moment that You made me clean and pardoned my soul
Amazing grace that I would be allowed unto Your throne
Not by my own will but solely by Your will alone
I’m unworthy of this love you have shown to me
I see my desperate need
The beauty of the cross is that there’s One who has redeemed my soul
The beauty of the cross is that I’m finally free and letting go
The beauty of the cross is that Your grace has found me just as I am
I thought about the song writer’s word choice “the One who has redeemed my soul” is past tense. It’s indicating that the action has already been completed. Then the next line “I’m finally free and letting go” is present progressive and a continuous action. I thought about this in the context of my own walk of faith. For years, I treated my relationship with Christ as a one time decision. I confessed that Jesus was my Savior and then I stopped short. That was as far the relationship really went. It’s kind of crazy when you think about it. That’s kind of like getting married…saying “I do” and then never talking to your spouse again.
My mind then bounced to the person who wrote this song. This song, Beauty of the Cross, was written by Jeff Johnson but it was made famous and became a hit by Jonny Diaz. It’s interesting to me how many songs that we praise one person for are, in actuality, written by someone else. The creator of the song really doesn’t get the fame and glory. The one whose version gets more airplay on the radio is the one who ends us getting the most recognition.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I love that beauty is spreadable like this. However, it was an observation that prompted me to think of how often we are guilty of praising beauty rather than the creator of that beauty. We stop short sometimes. I thought about the beauty of sunrises or the newborn baby we cradle in our arms. How often do we stop short in our praise when we gaze upon these amazing miracles and forget to extend our thanks to the Creator of both?
This morning I pondered again our tendencies to stop short on the road to beauty and healing. I then though about a couple of folks in the Bible who didn’t stop short. They did whatever it took to reach the source of beauty.
Like the men who carried their sick friend on a mat to see Jesus. They cut a hole in a roof to lower him into a crowded room. What if they had stopped short instead?
Or, how about the woman who was bleeding and did everything she could to make her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the robe Jesus was wearing. What if she had stopped short instead?
Today, I want to encourage us to not stop short in our own journeys toward beauty and healing. I want to encourage us to praise the Creator of all beauty. I want to encourage us to keep letting go. I want to encourage us to do whatever it takes and go to whatever lengths it takes to get there.
Don’t stop short today. Keep going.