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When You Can't Make It In on Your Own Merit

  • Lori Hatcher Author
  • 2015 23 Mar
When You Can't Make It In on Your Own Merit

My friends and I were busting out. Doing something crazy. Casting off the shackles that had kept us fettered for so long.

A random conversation over the Christmas holidays had sown the seeds for a Spring Break trip we’d always wanted to take. With no families to slow us down, cramp our style, or keep us in check, this trip was going to be all about us.

And where do homeschool moms go when they bust out? Why, to Washington, D.C., of course. And what do they do? Tour museums, eat out, and cram as much learning and exploration into five days as possible.

As Mandy, Alicia, and I planned our trip, we each made a list of our top five “must sees.” Experts at juggling the collective preferences of nine children, we found planning a tip for three was as easy as frying eggs in a non-stick skillet. Many of the attractions we wanted to visit overlapped, and before long we had an itinerary that made our hearts beat hard in anticipation.

The first item on our agenda was a no-brainer because it was on everyone’s list—the White House. Unfortunately, touring this icon of Americana isn’t easy. Although we submitted our request months in advance, the congressional aide who assisted us said our request had been denied.

We were sooooo disappointed! What’s a trip to Washington without a White House tour? No pictures in the East Wing. No plying the Secret Service agents for funny stories about the President. No chance to peek around the corners to glimpse a visiting dignitary.

But the gates were barred. The doors were locked. And the Secret Service agents’ guns were an imposing barricade to our admittance. There was no question about it—we were not welcome.

Determined to make the best of it, we rode the subway into the city the next morning. When my phone vibrated in my pocket, I was surprised to see an unknown Washington, D.C., number on the screen.

“Hello, this is Carla in Congressman Joe Wilson’s office. He asked me to call you to see if you were still interested in that tour of the White House. If you are, and can meet him at the Visitor’s Gate at 7:30 tomorrow morning, he’d be glad to get you in on a VIP tour.”

As you can imagine, my friends and I were waiting at the East Gate well before 7:30 that next morning. Our congressman greeted us, we chatted a bit, then he flashed his congressional ID to the guard at the gate. “These ladies are with me,” he said. The gates opened, and we were ushered into the home of the president of the United States.

I thought of this experience recently as I read in Leviticus about the tabernacle of God in Old Testament Israel. A moving place of worship and sacrifice, the tabernacle housed the holy articles of God. In its very center was the most sacred place—the place where God dwelled—the Holy of Holies.

Separated from the rest of the tabernacle by a four-inch thick woven tapestry, the Holy of Holies was off-limits. No one was allowed to enter except the High Priest, and then only once a year, after being ceremonially cleansed from his sin and the sin of the people. The common man was simply too sinful to even think about coming into the presence of God Almighty. Anyone who entered the Holy of Holies to approach God without permission and proper preparation would die instantly.

Until Jesus.

On that horrible/glorious day long ago, he shouldered the sin of mankind, hauled it to Golgotha, and covered it with the blood that dripped from his wounds. He offered his body as a living, perfect sacrifice, and died in my place.

“For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence” (Hebrews 9:24).

He was judged—the innocent for the guilty—and God accepted his offering.

How do I know?

“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15:37-38).

On my Spring Break trip years ago, when I couldn’t enter the White House on my own merit, the congressman showed his badge and granted me entrance. In a far greater way, when I was too sinful to approach God, Christ shed his blood in my name. When I accepted it by faith, his sacrificial death on the cross granted me entrance into God’s presence forever.

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23).

As Easter approaches, I pray that you too have received this precious gift of salvation. I hope you have full freedom to bring your needs boldly to God’s throne. I pray you have the assurance that one day you’ll spend eternity with him in heaven.

If you are unsure, I’d love to share my story with you in a quick, five-minute video. If you already know Christ as your Savior, why not share this post with someone you love? I could make an eternal difference.

Lori Hatcher is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She shares an empty nest in Columbia, South Carolina, with her ministry and marriage partner, David, and best dog ever, Winston. A homeschool mom for 17 years, she’s the author of two devotional books, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women and Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God...Starving for Time.

Publication date: March 23, 2015