Monday, April 3, 2023

The Lord Has Need of It

Chinese snowball viburnum in bloom 

As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying that colt?" They replied, "The Lord needs it" (Luke 19:33-34, NET).

For me the most phenomenal part of the Palm Sunday story of Jesus’ royal entry into Jerusalem is not the procession itself, nor the crowds’ “Hosanna” shout; not the throngs casting their robes at His feet, nor the palm-waving benedictions. All that is splendid, to be sure, but I am most amazed and humbled by this little bit about the donkey.

Imagine with me, if you will, walking out of your house early on Monday morning. It’s not yet time to leave for work, but you thought you heard something unusual, so you go out to take a look. Lo and behold, you see two men in your driveway hot-wiring your new pick-up truck, the one you bought to haul the equipment and supplies for your lawncare business!

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing??!! Why are you taking my truck?” you demand.

With calmness surprising for thugs, they reply, “The Master needs it.”

The Master needs it? Oh well, in THAT case. . . “NO need to go to all that trouble. Hold on a minute, and I’ll bring you the keys and my gas card.”

Astonishing, isn’t it? But that’s comparable to what took place at the edge of Jerusalem that day. Which is the greater miracle, that an unbroken donkey submitted to its Creator to be ridden through a noisy crowd, or that these owners – like all of us, not without their own donkeylike tendencies – consented immediately and without further ado? 

“The Lord needs it,” was the only explanation they required.

What about me, about you? Do we have this simple trust? Often in my past the Lord has revealed something or someone I was clutching to myself, afraid to let go even after I had sensed His hand taking it away. May the Lord search our hearts – yours and mine: is there some area of life right at this moment where we have heard His, “The Lord needs this,” but have not yielded? Has He given us a cue to entrust this dear person, position, dream, treasure, ideal, or maybe even my own health to Him for now, but with no further explanation? Am I futilely resisting His touch on some tender spot in my life, fearful of the consequence of yielding all to Him who gave it?

If so, let us find both encouragement and challenge in the example of this colt’s owners. The safest, best place for our beloved is in the Lord’s possession. We are not told whether the colt was ever returned to the owners, but even if not, its giving constituted their role in the purposes of God and fulfillment of prophecy. God had a greater plan for this precious animal than simply their beast of burden; might it not be so with whatever I am grasping so tightly?

Indeed, we have His firm assurance in many places and no uncertain terms that His plans for us and ours far exceed even our wildest imaginings; that His purposes are better than anything that has ever entered our heads and hearts; that He plans to give us a future and a hope, free of pain and full of glory someday.

May we believe Him and prove the truth of these promises for ourselves by yielding quickly wherever we may hear, “The Lord needs this.”

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