No Ordinary Hero

travel-252945_640Heroes rescue people, right?

Well, that’s what ordinary heroes do.

Remember Raiders of the Lost Ark? I love the scene where Indiana Jones discovers where Marion has been taken captive and instead of rescuing her, he leaves her there! It’s a great moment because we all know the hero is supposed to rescue the damsel in distress

but Indiana Jones is no ordinary hero.

He knows it will serve their ultimate goal if he leaves Marion in her predicament for just a little longer. Of course, Marion isn’t  on his wavelength about this. Eventually, Indy saves her but a lot of damsel distress happens in between.

That’s like Jesus. He’s no ordinary hero. We have these expectations about what He should do in our lives and when but He isn’t compelled to serve our expectations. He has a greater plan and sometimes it serves the good of the greater goal to leave us unrescued for the moment. (and they can be unbearably long moments – lifetimes even)

Jesus loved John the Baptist. They were cousins and John, perhaps more than anyone , understood Jesus. It amazes me then that when Herod throws John into prison and John sends word to Jesus, Jesus doesn’t come. He doesn’t show up. He sends John a cryptic message through one of his followers and shortly thereafter, John loses his head. Literally. Game over. Served on a platter for a heartless, adulterous king and his evil mistress. John suffers what appears to be an amazingly pointless death.

Jesus also loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus. They were friends. He stayed at their home when He was in town. They hosted His gatherings. Then Lazarus grew seriously ill. Mary and Martha send for Jesus, their beloved friend who could heal the sick. Does He drop everything and come rushing to their rescue? No. He tarries. Lazarus dies. What are they to think? Where was He? How could He not come?

In both situations, Jesus knew it served the greater plan for Him not to come. John, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus are all rescued now but in the moment, they remained unrescued. Jesus trusted those closest to Him with the weight of distress, suffering, and even death.

Jesus is no ordinary hero.

Some of us remain unrescued. We love Jesus. We follow Him the best we can. We’re not perfect but we’ve really tried. We know we belong to Him and that’s what matters. Then trouble arrives at our door. We are sick unto death. Financially ruined. Relationships crumble. Loved ones suffer. Evil stands at the door with subpoenas or guns. We cry out to our hero for help, and we wait. But, we remain unrescued.

We know He can hear us. We know He could change the situation if He wanted. We even feel His love and know He is with us in our trouble. But unrescued, we are tempted to question our own faith.

It’s hard to remember that being unrescued does not mean we are unsaved.

Hebrews chapter 11 is the great faith chapter where are listed the giants of our faith: Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Moses – the list goes on. If you read to the end, however, you will find the chapter takes a distressing turn.

Around verse 33, the writer mentions many who through faith shut the mouths of lions, conquered kingdoms, and escaped the edge of the sword but then, around verse 36, we find that some who exercised faith faced jeers, flogging, prison, torture, persecution, mistreatment and death. It ends with these words “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

God has a plan. Jesus is no ordinary hero and if you choose to follow Him, you are not on an ordinary adventure. Sometimes you will not be rescued from your temporary predicament. Some of us through faith will be healed, will overcome obstacles, will triumph over death on earth but some of us, through faith, will remain sick, will remain impoverished, will be imprisoned and tortured, will die.

But the moment we entered into relationship with Jesus, we also entered an unending story – a forever world where these horrific moments where we were distressed will one day be a distant memory and those who inflicted our pain will either be redeemed with or destroyed forever. This frees us to face the forces of hell on earth a remain fixed on His love, frees us to remain full of light when beaten by darkness, frees us to trust Him with forever.

Are you still unrescued? Take heart. He loves you as dearly as He loved John and Mary, Martha and Lazarus. You will arrive safe in the end but if He tarries to come, He has a greater goal in mind and you have been given a part in that. Stay strong and do not lose heart. He is no ordinary hero and you are not a child of ordinary faith.

Ultimately, we are in this, not for the payoff of the momentary rescue but for the greater prize – the building of a kingdom that will exceed all our expectations and include all who need to be rescued!

Take heart, loved one. In a little while, He will come. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”( Rev. 22:20-21) Maranatha!

Are you seeking companionship on the narrow road? Restless for the Jesus adventure? Join others traveling toward the same goal.

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    The Conversation

  1. Lovely. So inspiring!

  2. Maxine D says:

    Thank you Lori – that was most encouraging, and timely 🙂