Contemplating Maundy Thursday.
After issuing the mandate (that’s what Maundy means) for His disciples to love and serve one another, Jesus identifies the one who would betray Him. In Gethsemane, His closest disciples fall asleep as He grappled with the prospect of death by crucifixion. On trial, His star student denies Him three times.
Ouch. Ouch. And ouch. Painful. Super painful. And we are not even talking about the cross. Yet.
As one moving on kingdom assignment, I understand the feeling of aloneness. This is not to say I do not appreciate the many who have rallied around me and continue to serve alongside me. So very thankful for these brothers and sisters. Even so, there are many moments where you know it is your assignment and you are the one who has to fulfil it. No matter what. Even if no one is there for you. This, I know and accept.
What I find difficult to stomach is the pain of betrayal and disappointment. As a leader, I wish I didn’t have to experience this at all. Wishful thinking, I know. Almost every leader I know has had his or her share of such experiences.
And yet, in a strange but sovereign way, it was Judas’ betrayal that kickstarted the fulfilment of Jesus’ kingdom assignment. I can’t imagine how our Lord felt that night, and that morning, on the way to the Cross.
This is a big lesson for me.
No one said that moving on kingdom assignments would be easy. Add people to the equation and everything becomes even more complicated. Some will run with you and others will leave. Just keep moving. Learn from every situation, every mistake and strive to be a better leader with the Lord’s help. Even so, not everything is your fault. Not everyone will understand you all the time. The key is to know what the Lord has asked you to do and be faithful to fulfil that by His grace and with His enablement. By His sovereignty, and if He allows you to discover on hindsight, not a single experience, however painful, will be wasted. It might, in fact, be the very impetus that pushes you towards the completion of your assignment.
I sure am glad that betrayal and disappointment didn’t stop Jesus from fulfilling His kingdom assignment. Otherwise, we will not be beneficiaries of His salvation through the work on the Cross.
Similarly, as I move to fulfil my kingdom assignment, Lord, help me brave the pain that others may also gain. May neither betrayal nor disappointment ever distract or deter me from what you have tasked me to do.