It is tempting to forget that there were three long days and nights between the crucifixion and the resurrection beause the way we observe this season rushes us past the pain to embrace the promise.
But it’s not hard for me to imagine how the disciples felt when they saw Jesus was dead. It was neither what they expected nor what they prayed for.
There were many points in the story when things could have gone a different way:
- When taken by the religious leaders-surely, they thought, He will explain Himself, they will let Him go.
- When taken before Pilate-Rome will refuse to get involved with our spiritual squabbles, Pilate won’t authorize His death.
- When presented to the crowd-no Jew would rather have a wicked murderer released instead of a humble, healing Rabbi.
At every turn, every expectation they had for a “happy ending” was dashed to the ground.
Read the rest here: Living Between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection
Music has always reached a place in my heart when nothing else could get through.
And although the “songs” in Luke’s gospel aren’t set to a singable tune, I can hear the high notes accompanying the words.
The first words Zechariah spoke after his long months of silence were a beautiful celebration of who God is and what He was about to do.
Read the rest here: Advent: Our Hero God
One of the recurring themes in Scripture is redemption, rescue and renewal.
Over and over, just when it seems things can only get worse, God steps in and crafts an unexpected and beautiful story from the broken bits.
The challenge for we who are trapped in time is to remain patient and hope-filled in the waiting.
Read the rest here: Advent: The Righteous Branch
In our modern age of light switches and street lights it’s hard to imagine a world where the tiniest candle flame could lead a body to safety.
But for most of human history that was how people lived.
It’s how some still live.
So when John described Jesus as the “Light that bursts through gloom-the Light that darkness could not diminish” (John 1: 5 TPT) he’s really saying something.
This isn’t a tiny candle or smoky oil lamp barely pushing back the edges of inky night.
Read the rest here: Advent: The Light That Bursts Through Gloom
If I find in myself a desire for which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.C. S. Lewis
I remember the first time I felt homesick.
I had been away from home before but never without the company of someone I knew well and loved.
This time was different-I was at a sleepover camp populated with strangers. Kind strangers, yes, but not a familiar face among the crowd.
Read the rest here: Homesick
I’ve thought often of what good, if any, can come from child loss.
I do not think for one minute that God “took” my son to teach me a lesson or to mold me in some way.
But I do believe with my whole heart that God can USE this circumstance to conform me more closely to the image of Christ Jesus.
Read the rest here: Hidden Manna
It took me awhile to “feel” God again after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
I would journal my thoughts/prayers/questions and answer myself with Scripture.
My heart was still so very shattered that the words often slid right off.
Read the rest here: What If There’s Silence From Heaven?
I’ll be sharing more soon but let’s just say I’ve had more than a few moments in the past couple of weeks when I could have felt abandoned and forgotten.
And if I’m honest, some of the people I thought would be most likely to come alongside have been nowhere to be found.
But God’s Presence has been very real to me even then.
I talk a lot about Jesus as my Shepherd King because it’s one of the most precious images I have of the One who loves me, who saved me and who carries me every day of my life.
The thing about a shepherd is that he never walks away.
He never says, “Oh, well! I’ll just leave that wayward or injured sheep to her fate. I’m tired of looking for her, going after her and tending to her needs.”
He is absolutely, positively the God Who Stays.
God is the Faithful Father watching and waiting with open arms for the Prodigal to return.
He will weave even the darkest and most tangled threads of my life into a beautiful, redeemed tapestry if I let Him.
He’s the God who stays.
Read the rest here: The God Who Stays
I’m really thankful that more and more Christians are willing to shed false positivity and embrace lament.
Because the truth is lots of stories this side of eternity end in tragedy or at least unmet expectations and sorrow instead of glorious, victorious sunshine and roses.
Crops and marriages fail. Dreams come and go.
We hope for healing but don’t receive it.
Loved ones die.
Let’s just be honest about it-about ALL of it. ❤ Melanie
In the wake of burying Dominic, the most difficult spiritual discipline for me to recover has been prayer.
In part because my heart just doesn’t know what to ask for or how to talk to a God Who has allowed this pain in my life.
In part because I don’t really have a framework for placing the prayers I want to pray inside my ongoing struggle to commit my future and the future of my family to the hands of a Father Who didn’t step in to prevent Dominic’s death.
I still struggle with this.
Read the rest of this post here: The Problem of [Un]Answered Prayer
“The worst conceivable thing has happened, and it has been mended…All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” ~Julian of Norwich
I’m not sure when I first read this quote, but it came to my mind that awful morning. And I played it over and over in my head, reassuring my broken heart that indeed, the worst had already happened, and been mended.
Death had died.
Christ was risen-the firstfruits of many brethren.
Read the rest here: Resurrection: Reality and Reassurance