This is a story of dark and light, now and then, and fear and courage. It is marked with scattered hope and promises that are yours and mine. The story is ongoing and the end is not in sight. The beginning of the story walks us through normal life before the world went dark. A story followed by the now–our present state that is unfamiliar and uncertain.
Who imagined life as we knew it would change from one week to the next? Just when the promise of Spring and all the beauty it beholds was our next right thing, the world went dark. Forced isolation, social distancing, and the shut down of everything but the essentials is now our new norm. An eerie stillness remains in answer to the recommended new behaviors.
A New Normal
We are living in unprecedented times. A life that is used to getting what we need the minute we need it has turned so quickly that many of us are scratching our heads in disbelief. The word preparation comes with a heightened awareness that many of the items on our grocery lists may not be available. A new kind of anxiety fills the air as we realize we might run out of an item that we always had stockpiled in our pantries and closets.
What does this new season look like for you? How do you step out into the unknown without losing your mind?
Oh, how I wish I had answers to those questions and stored up hope to share with each of you. What I know right now is the timing of the pandemic is no mistake. The way our new normal intertwines with the season of Lent leaves me filled with hope. In my own journey to the cross, I am met with suffering and uncertainty. It’s this step by step dive into intentionality and the restlessness that accompanies it where I continue to find God’s presence.
When anxiety fills our hearts and minds, we need only turn to Jesus, the Hope of our Salvation hung on wooden beams because of His deep love for us.
When the Lenten Journey Parallels our Current Life
Lent is the time to slow down, repent, and welcome new life into our midst. It is the journey we take to the cross in humility as we die to ourselves in order to make room for the redemption Jesus secured for us. Just when we think we have Lent figured out, God creates a new way of living–one that is not familiar or easy.
Lent is the season where we recognize our present suffering and future glory. God promises us we will experience both. In a world where suffering seems prevalent, we can still make our way to the cross knowing that Jesus is with us. In this time of straining toward the familiar before the world went dark, we can rest assured that the ending is still the same. The path to the cross still ends with the sacrifice of Jesus. When our own journey is cloudy and the road ahead is not clear, the end still remains certain. The cross awaits Jesus’ arrival and stands strong as a beacon for our own lives. The victory has been won and hope arises.
It’s okay if we have questions. It’s okay if we struggle with staying home. Our hearts feel deeply and our emotions are running rampant. God knows. It’s okay.
This week we walk with Jesus to the cross. Many of us feel the heaviness of the pandemic and our steps are burdened and plodding with heartache. Some of us feel the weight but know the joy that comes at the end of the journey to the cross. Which one describes you?
Take a Step, God is Waiting
This week is one of my favorites. I have celebrated Holy Week since I was a child and even though my focus and understanding have changed, Jesus’ victory has not. Holy Week starts with rejoicing on Palm Sunday and leads us through dark despair and back to praise and worship by the end of the week. I am giving myself permission to let each emotion wash over me as I remember.
Remember the triumphal procession into Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way.
Remember the Last Supper and the gathering of the apostles as bread and wine were shared in Jesus’ name.
Holding onto the memory of the Garden of Gesthsemane and the uproar that ensued with Judas’ betrayal.
Lamenting over the cruel suffering Jesus experienced even before He was hung on the cross.
Rejoicing that Jesus redeemed me by His death and resurrection.
God knows. It’s okay!
What if we stepped into this week together knowing God is still waiting. He’s at the end of this uncertain road we are walking and He is not going anywhere.
Because of Him, we can lean into the tension and feel safe.
Because of Him, as we long for the cross in our weariness and brokenness we can believe God is in control.
And because of Him, peace is ours to claim because God is the reconciler who secured peace two thousand years ago.In a world that has turned upside-down, we can rest assured that God promises the light is not gone, darkness does not have the last word, and Jesus does win. Join me for some Lenten encouragement. #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
Light is not gone. Darkness does not have the last word. Jesus does win.
May you experience Resurrection-Hope and Unfailing Love this Easter!
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