Yesterday was resurrection Sunday and Christ rises again and who among us doesn't need a little 'bringing to life'?
Have you ever felt like you just go through the motions? Like every day is the same and even though God has given you ordained work to do, you feel aimless and pointless and weak and even sometimes useless? We give ourselves the label - FAILURE, and we wonder why we run dry. Maybe you can't figure out WHAT it is that God would have you do?
You say you'll focus on what matters. You say you want direction. Oh YES! God, let me live my life well.
I know, I pray it and I write and I mean it. But:
Just let me aimlessly browse Facebook for an hour first.
Let me dwell on these thoughts I know I shouldn't even let pass through.
Let me ignore everything I know is right because it's uncomfortable.
Let me just dye these eggs and not worry too much about the Mom who, if she had eggs, who save them for a week's worth of protein for her dying baby boy.
Ignorance? Yes, please. A big heaping dish.
A family needs dinner and I go to sleep full but I'm empty, really. We're all empty vessels is we don't have love. And it's the love that does the resurrecting. And we're all waiting for the filling. Even if we don't know it or want to admit it.
That's why I can say I'm a Christian and still be so messed up. Praise GOD! That's the whole crazy idea. That a bunch of messed up people can cling to something bigger and through that clinging, become something different. Redeemed. Not perfect, but redeemed.
I hear the music humming in our kitchen. It's a quiet morning and the kids are doing Math. "Jesus reigns.... for Jesus reigns... over all He reigns...." it fills this messy place and my eyes are taps. "...High above the heavens... we exalt Your name.... all of creation sings praise..."
Exalt His name. How do I exalt His name in the midst of my total brokenness? The kind of brokenness that sins willingly and forgets everything He's told me over and over? That at her core is selfish and reluctant to completely and fully commit to this call because it might (gulp) take me somewhere I'm not sure I can go.
How do I exalt His name when I don't want to? When it's easier to be mad at God? I mean, I'm broken because of all this crap that's been done to me and that I've done to myself and why did God allow us to be such broken people? Why should I praise the One? Sometimes, I forget gratefulness and I wonder these things and let myself wallow in self pity. Oh yes, I do.
What you need to know about Resurrection Sunday is this: the resurrection of Christ should extend far beyond the story. Far beyond the "Jesus died, and three days later, rose again."
For the past few days I've been asking myself this: "How can I come back to life?" I mean, I'm here. I'm living. The heart is beating. But am I really living for all God has for me? If Christ died so I may have life and life abundantly... am I living that abundant life?
This question should bring us to our crippled knees, friends. It's okay to cry. It's okay to weep and ask the hard questions. Blessed are those who mourn.
The cross is this: we were dead in our sin and fallen from God. God sent a savior who shredded that veil to God clean through and we were welcomed in the Holy Temple. We can talk to the God of all the Universe and He promises to listen. We are called children of God. CHILDREN of God almighty, if we trust in Him and believe in Jesus. Not because we did something to deserve it. Not through works, no especially not that. Not because we're 'holy' enough. Definitely not. But because of the mercy and grace poured out in blood on that wooden cross.
If you are reading this and thinking how crazy I am to believe such nonsense, I want to jump through this screen and hug you tight. I know, it sounds like nonsense! One man, God Himself, living on earth a perfect, blameless life... Doing miracles and pointing people to God and revealing the truth of the gospel for the three years He ministered. Then, dying a brutal death of a criminal for all of humanity. After death, He rises again and lives today beside God in heaven. Not only that, He speaks to us and lives WITHIN us.
I get it. I know it sounds surreal. Because it is surreal. The bible says these things will seems foolish to those who haven't experienced God's touch Who haven't felt the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to speak to you. If you haven't encountered Him in a real way and you want to, He will come. So, I pray that my friends and family who haven't experienced God, would. The tears stream down as I pray those prayers.
I was lost, now, I'm found. Eternal life? Yes. Yes, you can live forever. Crazy, I know. It's not just about some man going into a tomb and coming out three days later. It's about all of eternity. And the bridge He made for us.
And what I wish more people could understand about this Christ Jesus-thing is that we are all broken. We're not talking religious scholars and black suits at the front of a musty church. I mean being a disciple of Jesus. A real disciple. It's so different than that. And yes, there are a lot of humans who claim Christ and are really rejecting Him altogether in the way they live.
And following Christ is messy. It looks a whole lot like that bleeding woman in the middle of the road. Desperate, raw, imperfect. Just reaching out with everything in her for a tiny touch of Christ's hem. Knowing full out she is in DESPERATE need of a savior.
So, if your soul needs resurrecting this week, reach out for Him. He is the only one who can fill every empty space. We cling to our world but the world withers. The facebook, the house, the riches, the food... they all fall away. He beckons us to open ourselves to His filling and watch and see that He is good. Nothing about following Jesus requires perfection. Actually, quite the opposite! Christ followers are only called to be humble and open. Period. God takes care of all the rest.
He does, however, beckon us to take a good look within and a better look without. Reflecting on the truth that if He has set us free, then we are free to live fully. I mean really, really LIVE. And that requires daily reflection. To not be afraid to ask the tough questions. To press on towards this goal we've been given. To dig deeper for the love that is supposed to flow out of us. To cling to what matters. To reject ignorance and push towards truth. To remember those who live without and be the one who chooses to give. To hold our child a little longer and forgive the person who hurt us and be willing to put each day in the hands of the One who gives it.
Praise God that He is risen and He has the power to also rise within us.