I’ve struggled to write this week. I felt I had come so far in my journey only to fall back down again. In #walkingitoutwithJesus I still seem to stub my toe and skin my knees but these last few days seemed to be an out-right falling-flat-on-my-face-moment. My confidence ran and hid behind the bushes as it played hide and seek with my faith while discouragement and defeat seemed to come boldly out of hiding to offer their help.
“Where is God when it hurts!?”— to borrow Philip Yancey’s words.
I want to be strong and courageous …healed …whole …compassionate …caring …understanding …a good listener …at peace …sharing the Light of Jesus everywhere; but sometimes it seems all those great characters faced their antonym and chickened out.
All this week I’ve wanted to write about the Power of God’s Resurrection but the question keeps coming up over and over, “What does that really mean in my life …today?” “How does that make a difference …today?” “Does it matter …today?” If it doesn’t, I’m doomed! I’m as Leo Tolstoy honestly stated, “…like the thief to the cross, was nailed by some force to a life of suffering and evil” who “…awaited the terrible darkness of death.” ( page 331, Bread and Wine~Readings for Lent and Easter)
Feelings of inadequacy, rejection, loss and the inability to control life’s circumstances come with a powerful force to try to keep us nailed to our crosses. Anxiety still cripples me some days, loneliness casts its gloomy shadow, my Mama–my dear friend — isn’t a phone call away anymore, the desire to be with a friend as she sits with her own mom in her last days is still a scene too painful for me to enter, loving on a friend who just had a baby still overwhelms me, my washer broke (the 2nd one in 5 years!!), relationships are still strained and messy, the things that used to come so easily seem so hard and bring with it agonizing anxiety.
Will I ever be able to be normal again? Will those spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit gave me ever be used powerfully again? Will I ever be whole again?
But these words pierce through my thoughts …“The surgery of life hurts. It helps me, though, to know that the Surgeon himself, the Wounded surgeon, has felt every stab of pain and every sorrow.” —Philip Yancey (page 323, Bread and Wine~Readings for Lent and Easter)
I want to be “that person” again yet the “surgery of life” has made me a “different person” …remade with scars to prove it!
Some days I’m in the same boat with the early followers of Jesus — “Even when the women told the disciples that Jesus had left the stone-sealed tomb, the disciples found it nearly impossible to believe that it was not all over. The truth was, it was just beginning.” —Madeleine L’Engle (Page 313, Bread and Wine~Readings for Lent and Easter)
If everything ended with the death of Jesus Christ we’d know we were loved deeply– even unto death on a cruel cross– but it would only leave us with the warmth of His love and terribly miss the still-burning flame of His passion and power. I want to know that as well!
The power of His resurrection gives me the strength to get back up again.
Last week I fell down …again. Those unhealthy feelings surfaced. Defeat rode in to knock me over. I found myself asking God, “Are we there yet?”– as He seemed to look over His shoulder from the front seat and compassionately say, “Not yet. Not yet. Almost, but not yet.”
But my “not yet” has been overcome by His “Yes, now!” He didn’t stay dead on that cross. As He came out of the tomb, He stepped on the head of the enemy of my soul and said, “Enough!” Because He lives, I know He will continue to help me get back up again after every fall, failure, fracture, and fumble. While it would be enough that Jesus died to rescue me from my sins, it would still fall short if He didn’t get up and walk out of those death clothes ! That gives me hope that I don’t have to stay “flat-on-my-face” when I fall down. Jesus is always walking beside me– holding my hand and lifting me back up again.
This is my hope. This is what the Resurrection power means to me today. This is why it matters.
“What God began, God will not abandon. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.”
Madeleine L’Engle (Page 313, Bread and Wine~Readings for Lent and Easter)
I’d love your thoughts as well …
What does the Resurrection of Jesus Christ mean to you today? How has it encouraged you to keep going even when it seems so hard? or too good to be true? Your words matter 🙂 …