And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. — Luke 23:42
Have you ever had a moment in your life that some people call the “ah ha” moment? That moment when something happens and you finally understand what has been taking place the whole time. It seems that I have had several of them. I remember times in school where I would be working on a problem and then I finally got it. I finally understood the concept. I also remember some of these times in college as well, where I would be studying various terms, and then it finally made sense. If you have ever taken statistics, perhaps you understand what I am talking about.
Many times we look back on those moments in our life and are surprised that we missed it for so long. How could we overlook such a simple solution for the problem and the situation that we were dealing with? The range of emotions involved can be overwhelming, too. These moments can be frustrating, disappointing, embarrassing, and many more.
In our spiritual lives, we have those moments as well. There are times we may face a trial or a struggle and we reach one of those “ah ha” moments. Perhaps we had been trying to do everything in our own power, not realizing that God had it under control and we just needed to trust Him. It is a spiritual “ah ha” moment where we realize that God had it in control or was working on our behalf the entire time.
I’m convinced that many times God brings us to a point in our lives where we have no other choice than to trust and rely on Him. For some it’s sickness, for others it’s heartache. For some, it may even be at the point of death like this thief on the cross. I often wonder if this thief looked over at Jesus, knowing that he deserved his punishment and that Jesus didn’t, was at one of those “ah ha” moments. He had tried going through life in his own way, but it led him to a cross. It was the punishment for the things he had done.
But as he reached that moment in his life, he realized that Jesus was taking his punishment for him on the cross. He realized that he could have trusted long ago and could have changed his life. Instead, he chose to struggle and go through those many difficulties and challenges without God. The important part is what we do at those moments where we realize that He is truly what we need.
Some people let their embarrassment stand in the way. Others let their frustration or disappointment keep them from reaching the point God would have them to. This thief, however, he realized exactly where he was. He was at one of those spiritual “ah ha” moments and he realized that he could not make it without Jesus. I think there are two very important reflection points found here. First, have we ever reached the point in our lives where we realize that we cannot make it without Him? Second, have we let anything stand in our way of fully submitting our lives to Him?