On Friday I grieved over the Savior's crucifixion and death.
On Saturday I thought of the time Messiah lay in the tomb.
On Sunday I rejoiced over Christ's victorious return to life.
Each year I remember with gratitude the Lord's blood sacrifice to secure my release from the consequences of my sin.
"In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." Hebrews 9:22
But this year there was something about the blessed scenario that didn't sit well with me.
Maybe it was the idea that there was a limit to the amount of time Jesus had to spend in that dark place. After all, it feels like I've been in a similar dark place over the last nine months.
One problem has followed after the other to prevent me from catching my breath. Just when I think I may be getting a peek at what's ahead, the image goes dark and I'm back in the Pit of Despair. (and I don't mean the one from Princess Bride)
I know I'm where God wants me, but I'm not where I want to be.
I know God can see me and the way ahead, but I can't see anything.
I know God is in control, but I don't know how long this phase is going to last.
And that's where I run into trouble. I mean after all, Jesus knew His Tomb Experience was only going to last three days.
"He [Jesus] said to them [the disciples], '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.'" Mark 9:31
I mean, if I knew the limit for all these health dilemmas it sure would be a whole lot easier to stand up under them.
But no, I'm not being given even a hint of when this will taper off and I'll be granted at least a little time in a Peaceful Meadow. (think Psalm 23 here)
Yes, I know Jesus was and is God and so He has a bunch of privileges to enjoy that I don't get. He's divine. I am not.
But still. If I could just have a hint of a timeframe, it might be helpful in supporting my endurance factor. Ya know what I mean?
Have you ever been in a situation where you're being stretched by a specific or extra responsibility, but you know you've only got xx days or xx weeks until it's over so you pace yourself and you make it to the end just before you collapse?
Well, I'm pretty sure I'm already past the collapse point. So it feels pretty unfair that I can't know how much longer I have to persevere.
HAH, that is until I consider the passage I was reading this afternoon.
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him."
Isaiah 64:4; 1 Corinthians 2:9
The reminder of all the blessings God has for me "down the road" stopped me short.
I still can't see them, but I know the blessings are there because God's Word tells me so. It's not that a bright light went on or a ladder appeared to bring the end in sight. It's just that my Father reached down and touched me with His Truth. (and please note that this is an Old Testament Truth repeated in the New Testament for confirmation and emphasis and continuity)
Yee ha. My Abba Father loves me. He hasn't left me alone. He knows my every need and meets each one right when I need it. I'm encouraged to trust Him for one more night . . . perhaps one more day . . . at least until He touches me again.
Thank you, LORD. Your tenderness is even more powerful in trials. I love You.