I found life in the midst of death.
I treasure Easter but my experience seems to vary from one year to another. It’s good to celebrate Christ’s resurrection but what do you do when life doesn’t resemble the triumph of such a sacred day? Sometimes, everything in life resembles a cemetery rather than an empty tomb and it’s our natural tendency to live based on our emotions and circumstances but we are called to a higher way of life. Surprisingly enough, it is those exact moments of seeming defeat and uncertainty that serve as the doorways to Christ’s life surging through us. When I think of the doubting disciples after they witnessed the crucifixion, I often feel disappointed in them but have you ever realized that the way they responded is an exact picture of how you and I respond to loss, pain, or anything that we don’t understand? Things are not always what they seem and God works behind the scenes in ways that we don’t understand. He does oftentimes, however, delight in pulling the curtain and allowing us to see what He has been up to all along. In the past year, I have been journeying through a situation that can so easily cause me to doubt God but the reality is quite the opposite of what it seems. You see, there is a certain person that has fought so hard to stop me from getting married to my husband. God proved to us in such a powerful way that He has the last Word and despite this person’s many attempts He worked out His plan with divine precision and faithfulness. By God’s grace, I was empowered to extend forgiveness to this person many times and I sincerely hoped that things would change. They actually got worse. This person has fought so hard to destroy our church activity after our marriage. We were made to be the exact opposite of who we are and had so many attacks upon our family- some were even from people who have leadership roles because they were influenced by this person. We actually had to step away from that particular church for a season but returned after having some time to heal and to hear from God. In the present moment, things took such a turn that we are no longer able to serve this particular church. To this day, nothing has changed and things actually seem to have gotten worse. It was Easter Morning today and as I was sitting in church I could so easily feel the weight of this past year that has brought so much confusion and turmoil in our lives. It would have been so easy to give in to my doubts and to close my heart but a Voice inside me invited me to open my mouth in praise, to believe, and to humbly embrace everything as carefully allowed into our lives for a purpose. Throughout my life, it’s always been in moments of pain and uncertainty that God spoke to me best and was also able to shape me most. This Easter, God gave me the undeserved privilege of humbling myself and as I did that I found the secret to a fountain of joy that is never dependent on earthly circumstances but only dependent on Christ alone. I no longer questioned the events that happened but was given the eyes to see them in a whole different light. You see, I’ve always fervently prayed that God would use my life for His highest praise but I would again and again fail to understand that situations like these are meant to test our faith, strengthen our character, and deepen our relationship with God. That’s exactly what He is doing in our lives! So, I humbly received everything as being the exact place where God wants me to be in this moment. I know He is good and His plans are always the best pathways for our lives. He is sovereign and though at times things seems lost, He is always in control. His hand is never idle and He never sleeps. He is still the God of justice! He is seen best in the midst of the fire. He is alive! Death could not overcome Him and He is able! I will trust where I cannot see and I will wait in hope of seeing His promises come to pass yet again in my life! He has been so faithful and He never changes! This Easter, do you need resurrection? Before Christ was raised, He was crucified. The way to radiant life implies a cross. Die to yourself and you will live!