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Posts Tagged ‘pain’

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This Saturday morning in Dallas, Texas, dawned partly cloudy. A pleasant spring day stretched before me as I bowed my head and poured out my praise for the joy-filled celebration sure to come in the morning—Easter Sunday morning!

But my thoughts braked and turned back to that Saturday morning over 2,000 years ago. Have you ever thought how the disciples must’ve waked up feeling that day? Perhaps they hadn’t slept much the previous night. Perhaps Mary didn’t sleep at all. Remembering all those years—the baby, that day coming from the temple, the wedding miracle—and the…the brutal tragedy…the pain…the loss—

Could be you’re right there with them this morning—a grief, a loss, a pain you don’t have the strength to handle.

Perhaps these men who’d been with Jesus every day for over three years, didn’t know what to do with the unspeakable emptiness, guilt, and fear this morning brought. Maybe they grabbed their nets and headed for the boats like the walking dead. Dreams crushed, hearts mangled, and the pictures of their crucified Messiah splattered across their minds’ eyes.

Nothing to live for, I’m sure the evil one whispered to each of them in his first-person-singular with a Jewish hiss. Less we rush by this twenty-four hour span of time, think about their despair, and remember they didn’t understand the rest of the story. They didn’t have a Bible to pick up and find comfort and understanding from the Words of God.

Remember the time—the day after you’ve watched a loved one laid in the grave. And consider how you felt. And you know the rest of the story. They didn’t…or their wounded minds wouldn’t allow them to connect the dots.

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I’m sure their Saturday was a blur of depression beyond our ability to conceive. So why should we ponder the disciples’ Saturday? So when our times of unbelievable tragedy and grief visit our days, and they will, we can raise our eyes and remember:

“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore, I have hope in Him. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him…For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness” (Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-32 NAS).

If only they’d understood, but they didn’t have the whole story.

We do! But I’m afraid we rush right over the times of tragedy in our lives, racing to get to the good parts. Failing to understand learning takes place during hard times, the painful moments, when our hearts are humbled. We are always in a hurry…seeking comfort rather than sitting silent and learning from the pain.

Saturday night I’m sure they all tossed and turned, probably nightmares of the crucifixion stormed their dreams.

But what a difference a day makes! As the joy of Jesus’ resurrection exploded their sorrow, they rushed to the empty tomb! Weeping! Remembering! Rejoicing!

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Would that the next time you’re consumed and overcome with grief you’d remember. Remember that one day, in a moment, in the twinkling of eye, you’ll stand face to face with King Jesus—see the love in His eyes and the splendor of His glory will explode all the sorrows you’ve ever known.

Have a blessed Easter. An Easter to remember how much God loves you—enough to die just for you!

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The quiet voice echoed through the sad, lonely corridors of my heart and soul—“Is Jesus Enough?” I sniffed back tears that had become a way of life for the past few weeks and blew my nose as the voice inside me asked again—“Is Jesus Enough?”

DSCF1479I slumped in my chair, Kleenex in hand, forced to examine the implications of this question and where I had drifted and what had brought me down this treacherous road.

Even as I write this morning, my mind retraces the rabbit trails I allowed to lead me away from abiding in the light of the Word into the murky, stagnant puddles of lingering grief. And the moreDSCF3280 time I spent wandering in this swamp, the more impossible it became to extract myself.

Self-pity clutched its slimy tendrils around every thought and drug me toward the pit of depression as I counted, recounted, and added to what I didn’t have.

Trapped in a snare. Two weeks before Christmas. The tree wasn’t trimmed, the house was a mess, but the state of my heart and mind needed emergency medical care. And, thank God, the Great Physician was on-call.

Jesus tells us:

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 14:5 NAS).

I could indeed do nothing. The last few months I had lost focus on the important and allowed the urgent to shove my time with the Lord each day to those last few moments before exhaustion cemented my eyelids and brain shut for the night.

My disposition cranked to critical and I neglected to put on God’s armor each morning. I gave the enemy of my soul numerous opportunities to shoot his fiery darts into the chinks, resulting in great pain, loss of joy and my ability to focus on God’s miracle of Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.

But the good news is Jesus left a message for me and all who struggle in this battle:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29 NAS).

DSCF3521I heard—Is Jesus enough? And I understood the question and all the associated implications.

Regardless of the loss, trouble, or pain God allows to touch our lives we must ask ourselves—Is Jesus enough?

Jesus was enough for ancient Christians forced into an arena filled with hungry lions. Jesus was enough for the Apostle Paul when he faced his executioners in Rome. And Jesus is enough for Christians in countries where living their faith means persecution or death.

Will Jesus be enough for you and me as we walk through turmoil, distress and heartache during our lifetime?

Jesus also told us:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19 NAS).

The hours of 2013 are slipping away and 2014 will arrive a week DSCF3551from today. Will we replay the trials, pain, and grief of past years or will we quake when difficult times arise in the future? Or will you guard your heart and mind, abide in the Word and in prayer, and confirm with me, “Yes, Jesus is Enough!”

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