What a week! Blowing winds, sunshine, severe storms, and temperatures ranging from the seventies to the thirties blew in last week. It also was a week of celebrating the journey of Jesus walking to the cross. The beginning of the week was front-loaded with royal fanfare, moving toward the conviction that led to death on a cross and ending with new life found in the Risen Savior.
Those events alone are enough to bring a person to their knees but on top of everything else, we find ourselves living in a unique season of isolation due to a pandemic. As crazy as life feels right now, I believe that God scripted every detail. He knew and yet He is still with us. Our response is “what a week” but God’s response is ” do you believe I am still in control”?
Your Suffering is not for Nothing
My mind and heart are still dragging their feet through the events of last week. Holy Week takes seven days to tell the story of Jesus’ final week on Earth. In my own reflections, seven days does not seem to be enough. Those seven days take us through such a gamut of emotions that my heart needs more time to catch up with what my mind is processing.
The rejoicing followed by the heaviness of Jesus’ unbearable suffering and ending with pure praise for His resurrection are remnants that my heart needs to sift one by one. I have never been good at turning on and off my emotions quickly for the good of the situation at hand.
Maybe you feel the same leftover emotions that linger and won’t let go. Maybe your current season has you stuck in a cycle of heaviness. Or emotions just naturally remain at the surface while you sort through them.
Your suffering is not for nothing. The deep highs and lows of life are real and it’s okay to take the time to sift, sort, and grieve.
Jesus Suffered Too!
Jesus proves His humanness throughout the Gospels but it is never more evident than during Holy Week. In Luke 22, Jesus leaves the room where the disciples are gathered with Jesus for the Last Supper. Jesus steals away for some quiet time with His Father. In this account from Luke, we read:
He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:41-44, NLT).
Jesus also cries out these words in Matthew 27:46-47
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Jesus knew that His suffering was not for nothing but in the moment He cried out to God with “why have you abandoned me?” the spiritual separation from His Father was unbearable.
We live in a world that is unrecognizable by our usual standards. Our first instinct is to cry out “why?” and demand answers. But what if in this time, we waited patiently knowing that in our pain, through the unanswered questions, and the suffering of not being with our people, God is still with us? What if the promise that rings loud on Good Friday that Sunday’s comin’ becomes our hope in the midst of our unknown future?If I have learned one thing this past week, it is that God holds the disparity of death and resurrection in one hand. #whataweek #TellHisStory #Godisincontrol #linkup Click To Tweet
God is in Control
My current longing is to know without a doubt that God is in control. The sense of deep knowing in the core of my being that there is nothing that will sway me away from God’s truth. It is the thought, “I know that I know that I know because God is who He says He is”. You, too??
But in the same breath …
I have described myself as someone who desires complete control from beginning to end. It is the belief that I can finish a task best on my own because I know what I’m doing. I hope you are shaking your head in disbelief at the moment. As much as I think I can control a situation God has other plans.
I wrestle with the tension of taking control and releasing it at the same time. God knows this about you and me. He is patient and willing to let us make mistakes before we realize that without Him we cannot manage on our own.
Last week was not only Holy Week but personally challenged me as I wanted to just be done with shelter in place. The overarching feelings were “overwhelm” and “over it”! Thank goodness God always has something better in store.
What a week!
If I have learned one thing this past week, it is that God holds the disparity of death and resurrection in one hand. It is knowing that there are times that we live in a “both/and” world and this is one of those times.
Let’s face this week together. Let’s believe God is strong enough to hold both our fear and joy, our lack of control and peace, and our doubt and hope.
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
One of the best resources I recommend for this uncertain world we live in is Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book and Bible study, It’s All Under Control. Click HERE and HERE to get your own copies. (Affiliate links)
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