As I look back on the weekend that has just past and think on the Easter story, I am reminded of times in my life where I expected a different outcome than I was experiencing. The disciples had walked with Jesus and truly believed He was the Messiah- then He died. He died in the most excruciating, public way, that seemed to prove to the doubters and naysayers that they were always right. In the public humiliation of Jesus, there was a humiliation and embarrassment for the disciples, mixed with a depth of despair that could be put into words.
Like the women at the cross, I stayed close to Jesus in spite of it all. Like the women, I stayed watching my dreams die but looking through my despair, expecting that God had a plan.
Can you relate? I remember a time that I thought that I had heard God clearly about a situation in my life. I had prayed into it. I had my prayer partners pray into it. We had gotten scripture we held on to. Even to the end of this dream, I believed for a miracle. I told people God was going to make it work out. Yet, God had another plan. He was doing things in His own way. I was so broken. I could not believe that this was happening. I felt like there were people talking behind my back and questioning my faith since what I had spoken would happen, didn’t. I felt like the wind had been knocked right out of me. Why God? I followed you closely. I leaned in to listen to you. I believed you and in you.
Like the women at the cross, I stayed close to Jesus in spite of it all. Like the women, I stayed watching my dreams die but looking through my despair, expecting that God had a plan. Like the women, I stayed crying and weeping but with my eyes on Jesus. They believed he was the Messiah. They didn’t know or understand what was happening or why. Things were dark. They were uncertain. They were uncomfortable. They didn’t know how they were going to begin again and move forward. This is exactly how I felt.
But Jesus had warned them. He told them what was going to happen. In Mark 9:30-32, He tells them “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him and after three days he will rise. But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.” Jesus has also told us ahead of our trouble and heartbreak what to expect. In John 16:33, He says ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We don’t know what the trouble will look like. Most times, like the disciples there are warning signs that we miss or ignore. We have heard Jesus, but don’t always understand everything He has told us and we don’t ask questions or the right ones.
The hurts that life brings can sometimes keep what Jesus is doing hid from our eyes. It could deafen our ears to His messages. It can keep us from remembering the truth that God has shared with us. But when we stay close to Jesus, in spite of our disappointment, He makes sure that the stone is rolled away. No stone can keep the truth from being the truth. The stone didn’t keep Jesus in the grave. It kept them from seeing that Jesus keeps His Word and promises. The same is true for us. In the seasons of not knowing what is happening and the seasons of lost dreams, if we stay close to Jesus, He will move away all that keeps us from seeing that He keeps His promises. He brings resurrection life to our troubles and disappointments. We can have peace because Jesus has told us secrets that we can hold on to. In whatever we do not know, what we do know is everything. We know Jesus.
He has overcome and so will we.