Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lent day 37: Almost there

I wonder what Jesus felt that last week. He knew he was going to be killed. The human Jesus must have dreaded the pain. He was about to lose friendships, life, and future. He had no wife or children, but his mother and best friends would suffer with him. They and their families would always be shamed by association because of his crucifixion as a criminal and rebel.

Mary might have thought, "For this I raised my son? Watched over him, nursed him, wiped away tears, and washed his scrapes? For such a terrible end I prayed for him and listened to him puzzle his way into adulthood as God's son? Surely not this dreadful end. This can't be right? Where is God when I know he could rescue my son?"

We don't read any of that in scripture, but as a mom with a chronically ill child, I've asked those questions. I don't dwell on life as 'unfair,' but I am staggered by the evil and sickness and grief that lurk, waiting for unsuspecting victims. At times, they threaten to overwhelm us with their destructive forces.

Today, reading an update about the young daughter of a friend who will die of cancer today or tomorrow, I can't fathom the rage and turmoil that lie ahead for the family. There may be internal questions, a lack of understanding of God's will, and the fog of uncertainty about God's love - and maybe doubt about his ability to heal.

On the other side of grief lies acceptance of God's goodness and his Presence among us. Though the rivers need to be passed through, the fires lick at our hearts, and the flood rises up, we are not overpowered. He promised never to leave or forsake us in this broken world. And some day, with resurrection power, he will redeem the world, sweep us up to be with him, and show us the scope of his plans and purposes. For now, we hold tight, and remind ourselves we are almost at Easter.

Read more:
*Do I eat the meat of bulls? Do I drink the blood of goats? Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory. But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God. Psalm 50:13–15, 23 NLT

*I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NKJV

*Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV

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