If You Had Only Known

Are you tracking destiny in this season of life?  Solidly connecting with the Lord each day of life?  Is his word and calling your primary guidance source?

I am asking myself questions like these this Lent.  A friend recommended a daily Lenten study that is drawing me into Jesus’ journey to the cross.  

Day 16 shadows Jesus’ emotions and actions following his “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem that we now mark as Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Luke captures Jesus’ sobering words as he processes on a colt into Jerusalem.

“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.”  (Luke 19:42, NIV)

Then, a chilling prophecy about the fate of the holy city that would be fulfilled just 50 or so years later.

“The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19: 43-44, NIV)

The passage riveted me.  Whereas I generally read this as a modern observer of past history, not this time.

“If you … had only known what would bring you peace….”

You, as in me!  My first thought, “Do I know what brings me peace?”  

Peace from living up, syncing in my giftedness, purposeful, relationally strong, nurturing others in my life and who cross my path, in tune with my Lord, resisting temptation and keeping short accounts when I falter.

Some of that is going on but way too often I’m skidding right by the sweet spots.  Overly focused on myself, I am often disappointed, even angry, when things do not go my way. Instead of automatically taking my doubts and questions to the Lord, too often I cheat by soothing myself with escapism which only leaves me feeling guilty and crippled.  

I, I, I, me, me, me.  See the pattern?  Searching for peace where it cannot be found.

When I repent, doubt often lingers as I wonder how much longer the Lord will tolerate me. How long until his offer of peace is withdrawn, no longer available - “hidden from my eyes?”

Here is where regular reading, studying and meditating on Scripture pays off. One of many promise rises from my memory.

“persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:9, NIV)

My take is that Jesus’ frightening warning regards those who refuse his redemption invitation.  Many years ago, the Lord’s persistent pursuit of me FINALLY broke through my hard heartedness.  Now I pray for others to also let the Lord in. I believe the invitation extends through our mortal lifetimes.

So if not from God, the discouragement and fear comes from elsewhere.  Scripture instructs that its hold on us continues until we resolve to deploy the tools God puts into the hands of every believer - his word, obedience, and faith.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6: 11-12)

I love that about the Christian faith - lots of mind, body and soul engagement.  Nothing mamby pamby about it.

From Day 15 of the study: “Actions reveal beliefs because beliefs inspire actions.”  

To give myself over to sin is to reveal diminished belief in God.  Fortunately, God only sees me only through the lens of Jesus so while my grip on him may be feeble at times, his hold on me is not.

True peace in this life is ONLY found in the Lord.

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
— Isaiah 26:3, ESV

We trust and he holds  How very peaceful.



Lent study: “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole

Dubious Undertones

Not for lack of writing, Road Report posts have faltered a bit.  A growing list of paused messages await further inspiration.

An off-blog comment from a reader a few months ago scored a direct hit to some of my strongest  doubts about this blog project - that my writing lacks the fluidity I desire, that a labor over messages.

Too often, Road Report Journal is way too much like my actual journal and thoughts - choppy and meandering and only occasionally lucid, natural and crisp.

I realize that doubt and brooding have dubious spiritual undertones.  The song, “Through His Eyes” by Jenny and Tyler regards how Satan taunts along those lines.

Blank pages for months
And the sound of his voice rings in my head
Saying I should give up
And all that I write is meaningless

He says, no one else has to know about this
No one else has to know

Discouragement and secrecy gives “him” away. (See Zechariah 3: 1-2; Revelations 12:10)

Abandoned guitars
Dust covered shelves, laundry piled high
Tell me I’m not enough
And I know that they are wrong
But I still believe these lies

He says, no one else has to know about this
No one else has to know
No one else has to know

More discouragement and secrecy and, of course, lies.  This is Satan’s M.O. (See John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:14)

To recognize a counterfeit, study the real thing.  Our enemy’s intent is that we give in to our doubts and despair, set aside our resolve and by all means, abandon and question the claims of our Bible while slowly succumbing to "his” lies.  

Faith is the antidote to doubt.

...whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. (Jesus, Matthew 21:22)
… faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (
Romans 10:17)

Satan deceives believers into trusting feelings while Jesus teaches that faith intentionally engages God’s word, developing discipline to connect feelings with the power of the Holy Spirit at work within our beings (hearts, mind, spirit).  

Mature believers still doubt but they languish less before bringing doubt and disappointment directly to the Lord.  Siding with God is the best way to rebuff and the lose the tempter.  (James 4:7).

When what I’m doing isn’t going where I think it should be going or working out how I  thought, I tend not to notice the “I” part of “my” desires while the urge to silently slink away and not attract any attention is very, very strong.

At these low points, Jesus will find us if we don’t go find him first. (Psalm 139)  “Transfer your load to me,” he essentially urges.  He takes everything and frees me to live large no matter what is going on or how I feel about it.  

Jenny finishes the song with a flourish

Ooh I want to see myself through Your eyes
Ooh Father help me see myself through Your eyes

To see ourselves as God sees us is to reflect the radiance of Jesus. Others might notice us doing so.



1.  Jenny’s explanation of their song, "Through His Eyes"
2. Photo by Tobias van Schneider on Unsplash