For God So Loved …

Four Transformative Words

     As I write this post, it’s Saturday, the day after the sadness reflected upon yesterday, Good Friday, and the day before the joy of resurrection we’ll celebrate tomorrow, Easter Sunday.

     Often, I fail to remember the Saturday before Resurrection Sunday was one of silence and waiting.

     Before leaving this early spring morning to enjoy a quiet time on the lake kayaking, Ron asked what I was planning to do while he was gone. I told him I MUST write Monday’s blog post. He asked what I planned to write about. I admitted I didn’t have a clue!

     Even though I’m feeling stronger physically every day after having what I believe was a case of flu compounded by jet lag, and even though I think my body clock has re-set from Spain’s time zone to that of the Pacific Northwest, my usual stamina and active imagination haven’t returned. In many ways, the past few days have been ones of fuzzy-brained silence, waiting for some sort of inspiration to dawn—kind of like Saturday of Holy Week.

     I hoped the reality of a deadline might jumpstart inspiration this morning when I sat down at the computer. As my fingers hovered over the keys, rambling thoughts converged on four transformative words from Scripture,

“For God so loved …” (John 3:16)

     The message of Easter is that God gave a fully-cooperating Jesus to absorb the wrongdoings of humanity by offering Himself as a living sacrifice on the cruel Roman cross. That happened on Friday. Then, Jesus conquered human death by resurrection on Sunday.

     So much of this story, which I embrace wholeheartedly, seems a paradox, and at least to my understanding, remains a mystery. That’s okay. I want my wholehearted belief to be beyond my comprehension—to be much bigger than my frail human understanding. I love the mysterious part of my faith.

     Despite my lack of comprehension, the story of Easter provides me an opportunity to accept once again the message of Jesus, urging me to become more like my extravagantly-loving, humble, willing Savior. I know I’ll never arrive in this quest, but I believe I can grow more and more in Christ likeness as I surrender my human will and imagination to God who so loved…

     Because we’ve read the story, we, unlike Jesus’ friends, know God had a plan for the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter. God was at work, but the Divine work being accomplished was in the depths, behind the scenes, in realms hidden from logical, human understanding.

     Journeys of faith often include the same types of experience. On our level of belief, we know God hasn’t disappeared, but sometimes it’s hard to transition into a level of trust when God’s silence can be misconstrued as absence.

     Because I’ve experienced this dilemma on more than one occasion, and because I talk to people all the time who are trudging through this same reality, I realize we all need a dose of encouragement from time to time.

     Encouragement is what I hope today’s blog post provides. No matter how bleak your circumstances, no matter the silence with which your prayers have been met, I pray my words might:

     enable you to persevere,

          embolden you to keep moving forward, one foot of faith at a time,

               reassure you God knows what’s going on,

                    foster belief that God hears, and

                         inspire you to never forget, “God so loved…”

Blessings on our ongoing understanding of the multi-layered messages of Easter…

Sue Reeve

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