Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Where Did Easter Go?

Well, it didn't take me long to fall back to earth after this weekend's glorious celebration of our Lord Jesus' resurrection.

My family is in the midst of a barrage of changes and a whole lot of unknowns. We were hoping an internship would turn into full-time employment, but it fell through and next Thursday we'll be facing unemployment again. In May our son graduates from high school, in July our lease is up and we have to find somewhere to rent -- yet again. The month after that we'll be moving our son into college.

It feels like the dark clouds of Lent have rolled back in to obscure those high and glorious Easter moments. I'm finding myself back in Maundy Thursday's Garden praying beside Jesus, "Abba, Father, take this cup away ...."

What really bothers me is that I should know better than to let this stuff bother me. It isn't like this is the first time we've found ourselves in a situation like this.

Besides, I know many of you are facing far worse situations today and in the coming months. And then there's the horrific slaughter of our Christian brothers and sisters in Africa and the Middle East for their faith.

So why is this bothering me so much? I know God's hand isn't shortened. If He cared enough to give His Son to death for us, and had the power to raise Him from the dead, He can surely see us through these setbacks and uncertainties. But Satan is really pressing hard, and I feel too discouraged and overwhelmed to see a clear path through the next several months.

So forgive me if I start talking to myself in this blog -- if I make it a kind of spiritual pep talk.

My Lord's resurrection really means something. The Crucified and Risen One is standing at my side. He has taken away my guilt and condemnation; He has promised to provide all my family's needs and guide our feet along the right path. I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He is at the Father's right hand interceding for us. And when God the Father looks at those nail marks in His hands and feet, how can I possibly think He will just cast us aside?

And another thing, because Jesus died and rose again and ascended into heaven, He has sent the Comforter to us. The Holy Spirit lives in our hearts, also interceding for us. We may have no clue which direction to turn, but that's not true of the Holy Spirit. He is God, He knows what is best for us. He reassures us of God's love, soothes our fears, and intercedes with God the Father to provide for our needs and glorify His Name through us.

Jesus' resurrection reminds me of my sainted father's favorite hymn, "For All the Saints." As I picture Jesus on His throne, I remember my mom and dad and countless other saints thronging around Him in Paradise,

Oh, blest communion, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine, Alleluia!

And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long, Steals on the ear the distant triumph song, And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong. Alleluia.

Jesus' bitter death and glorious resurrection reminds me that nothing in this life is permanent. I too will die one day, and rise again in eternal glory. So what do today's troubles mean? In the end Jesus will bring us to His home where everything will be perfect forever. In the meantime, He has promised He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Thanks for indulging my little pep talk; it helped. But don't be surprised if you find me face down in the Garden wrestling with Jesus in prayer. The cross comes before the empty tomb.

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

How do the days ahead look for you? Are there struggles you're anticipating? Are there strategies you're implementing to ward off pending problems?

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