Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Peacegiver

A wonderful friend of mine gave me book for Christmas called The Peacegiver, by James L. Ferrell. (Side note: Said friend did not warn me well enough in advance that she was getting me a gift, whereby I had nothing to give her in return. I still feel bad about that one. Good thing she knows I love her.) She is a die-hard bookworm and I am not much of a reader. But if she was recommending it, than read it I shall.

It only took me about 3 months to get through the 200 page book. I'd say I made pretty good time. The first half of the book was terrible. Well, not terrible, but I wanted to pull the lead character out of the book and strangle him for being whiny. Dude, you are talking to your dead grandfather...shut up and listen to the man!!

Anyway, the last section is about the Atonement. The whiny guy, not so whiny at this point in the book, and his grandfather are witnessing the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane. It contained beautifully descriptive insights about what exactly the Savior did for us. I want to recite a few paragraphs for you of the grandfather speaking to his grandson:

"This night in Gethsemane, the Lord is taking upon himself all of the specific chains that bind and lead you captive. [...] [H]e will provide the way for you to break free [...]. Your rage, your disappointment, your despair--the Lord will overcome all tonight and forge for you a new heart--clean, pure, undefiled, free.

And he does the same for all--the addict, the abuser, the chronic complainer, those whose spirits are depressed. His struggle tonight is for all of mankind, but only because it was for each of us, individually and specifically.

[...] [P]raise be to God! [...] The Savior has withstood in the aggregate what no man has been able to withstand individually: He refused to submit to Satan's will even though he was fully subject to it. Even with all the mortal effects of our sins heaped upon and pulling at him, and with Satan and his hosts attempting to drag him down by that power to sin, the Savior was able to withstand and resist.

The captivity of sin has been broken! The Lord God Almighty has risen with healing in his wings. He stretches forth his arms to the world, feeling after them with his Holy Spirit. He comes to each of us, posing the question he posed to Jonah, pleading with us, as Abigail did, to forgive, and literally dying to give us his Spirit and the new heart he has forged that will free us from the chains of our sins. If we harden not our hearts and stiffen not our necks against him, he will facilitate the breaking of our sinful, stony hearts and will give us what Ezekiel called his new heart of flesh, saving us from all our uncleannesses. This is the miracle of Gethsemane."

I make mistakes daily. Sometimes hourly. I am so grateful to know that someone loves me so much that he was willing to perform an act of incomprehensible agony just to give me the opportunity to become clean. I think I owe it to my Savior to ensure that the opportunity is not wasted.

3 comments:

Sarah said...

I love that book--started re-reading it last week. Thanks for the reminder and the insight!

kelseykels said...

I am expecting a rather stupendous birthday present. :)

Bravone said...

I've never read the book, but love your thoughts.