Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Day to be Sad....Really?

You may know the heartache and feelings when one of your closest friends or family members just passed away.....yesterday. You wake up the day after, and it's up to you to handle the responsibilities of planning the funeral, the burial, notifying relatives, and handling so many details of figuring out what to do without them. You are expected to hold yourself together by treasuring the memories, while being courageous and brave when you just want to sit and cry bitter tears because this life will never be the same again. You look all around and it seems everyone around you is just fine. They're laughing, they're carefree, they're going on with their busy lives, and you think, "How could they be so happy when I'm hurting so much?"

Yesterday was Good Friday when Christ bore every sin we've ever committed. He carried every sickness we have had, and will ever have. He gave His life so that we would live forever and ever. That was His promise, but this day after -- the day-in-the-middle -- the day between Christ's crucifixion and His resurrection -- His disciples and His followers could only think...."It's all over for us! Life will never be the same again."
Those disciples walked with Him and talked with Him. They saw His good acts and the many miracles he performed (raising people from the dead, opening blind eyes and deaf ears, forgiving the worst of sinners and encouraging them to sin no more and love their neighbors AND enemies). Jesus was dead -- as dead as He could be. They had forgotten His "3-days promise". To them, it was all over. They succumbed to doubt, fear, and unbelief. Yes, it WAS their saddest day EVER.

But was it really the saddest day for them AND us? Those of us who understand that yesterday, His great sacrifice of His life bought us our "abundant life" on this earth and our eternal life with Him. The cross, the time in the tomb, and tomorrow's triumphant resurrection changed everything. When someone we love slips from this life, we think they are somehow diminished to ashes and dust. But this is only part of the story. The reality, the hope, the truth is that they are more fully alive and real than ever before. They are experiencing the results of the eternal life that resurrection gave us.

I pause for a moment and think about what my precious husband might be saying to us today. I think it would be something like, “Enjoy life to the fullest. But also remember your fullest life is yet to be!"

Your “in-the-middle” day may be where you’re at in your life. Maybe it feels like God has disappointed your expectations. When it seems all hope is gone because a loved one may have died, an illness may be bearing down hard on you, your marriage may seem hopeless, your financial situation may seem devastated…..but to those who know our Savior and who know the end of the story, your hopes, dreams, desires and prayers won’t be dead forever, because Jesus was raised to life on the 3rd day and He came to give us LIFE and life more abundantly (John 10:10). So hold on, my child, in the middle, it's time to get your hopes up because JOY COMES IN THE MORNING!