It’s in the silence of these four walls, the quietness of my hurting, still soul, that I finally hear Your Voice. It’s rhythmic and in tune with the beating of my heart and it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. You speak to me, sing to me, patiently. You offer joy in a place I have allowed bitterness and hurt to take root. You smile though I have done nothing to deserve it. You love though I have been selfish. You stand by me though I have repeatedly abandoned you. You are God and You deserve my praises. I am forever thankful for your patience and forgiveness and especially that those things transcend all time. Forever and Ever. Amen and Ehmen!
It’s sometimes called Holy Saturday, the Great Sabbath, Black Saturday and Easter Eve. But what is today, really?
Well, I think today—the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday—is just that, the day in between.
The silent day that lay mournfully and mysteriously between the brutal crucifixion of our Lord and Savior and His joyous resurrection. The day between a promise and its fulfillment.
I can’t even begin to imagine how those who loved and followed Jesus must have felt on this day; just hours before having watched as God’s own promise hung tethered to a rugged cross; bloody; lifeless; hopeless.
I just can’t even imagine how they felt when the world’s only hope that God Himself had so lovingly poured into the flesh of a baby more than three decades prior was taken down from the cross, a crumpled and shattered shell; breathless; dead.
Oh the grief, the fear, and the sense of loss they must have felt. Their friend and Messiah was gone and laying in a tomb; his bruised and battered body as well as their hopes and dreams swaddled in burial clothes and sealed in darkness.
I just can’t even imagine.
But, wait, you might say. What about the miracle of Jesus’ birth and all the miracles and prophecies fulfilled throughout Jesus’ life on earth. What about all the wonders—the feeding of thousands from a single lunch; the healings; the raising of Lazarus from the dead? Can you even imagine how in the world the men and women who witnessed these miracles could even spend one day doubting, grieving, hiding, scattered, and scared?
You know, at first I thought I couldn’t imagine that at all. That is, until I realized that we live in this same place every day. We live in the in-between day, suspended between the promise and the fulfillment and, just like the disciples and those who knew Jesus as a man, we doubt; we grieve; we hide; we scatter; and we certainly fear. We, too, search for hope in a dark world. We, too, sometimes lose our trust that God can make something holy and beautiful and good out of a world that often looks more like hell than the creation of a good God. We wonder how or even if He will bring beauty and order to a universe spiraling out of control. We, too, have moments of doubt. Or least I know I do.
But, thank God, for tomorrow; for Easter Sunday and the empty tomb which has become an everlasting symbol of a promise fulfilled; the rebirth of hope for all the generations to come; for the disciples; for the early churches, for all our descendants and for you and for me.
Thank God for His promise of everlasting life which eternally lives in the breath of His one and only son, Jesus Christ, and for the unyielding sacrifice Jesus made so that we can enjoy that promise just by believing in Him. I believe in Him and I hope that you do, too.
And, if you are still just checking the whole Jesus thing out, I pray that He will open your heart and eyes so that you, too, can take part in the miracle of Easter and the promise of everlasting life. God loves you. He always has and always will. You are His child and he really wants to have a relationship with you. But, you have to do something. You have to take the step and ask Him into your heart. He is not going to do it without an invitation from you. You yourself have to acknowledge that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and that he died on the cross so that you can have eternal life. You yourself have to accept Him and invite Him into your heart.
When you’re ready, you just have to say a prayer something like this. It doesn’t have to be word for word and you don’t even have to understand it all. And you certainly don’t have to be perfect, for no one on earth is perfect. Just say something like this:
“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. Please forgive me for my sins. I believe that your son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died to pay for my sins and I trust Him now as my personal Lord and Savior. I ask Him to come into my life. Amen.”
It’s that simple. If you pray this prayer and truly accept the Lord Jesus as your personal savior, you can be assured of going to heaven. No matter what you have done on earth; no matter what you did in your past, you will be reborn and resurrected and headed for everlasting life alongside the Almighty Creator, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Oh, my, what a way to celebrate this day in between! Congratulations and welcome to the family! Amen and Ehmen! And Happy, Happy Easter! 🙂
And The Word of God Says:
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (NIV)
Romans 1:4-5 And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. Romans 6:8-11 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Philippians 3:10-12 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (NIV)
Matthew 27:50-53 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. (NIV)
Matthew 28:1-10 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (NIV)
Mark 16:1-8 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ “
Don’t you just love that sometimes the most awesome things in life are those that defy logic?
Those that don’t necessarily make sense.
Things—like God and Heaven—that require Faith.
Things like the moon, the stars, the sunrises and sunsets that you don’t have to understand to enjoy.
Things which require you only to be.
I hope that today, no matter what is going on, that you find time to just be.
And to thank God that you are.
–Amen and Ehmen.
Recently as I was re-watching The Bible on the History Channel, I was captivated by the word “history.” It was if my brain hit pause with that word on the screen and it’s all I could think about for a few minutes. I woke up again this morning with that word on my mind. Thus, I pondered it for a bit.
History is the past and many of us spend too much time in the past; we keep busy trying to re-live it or change it and are often unable to fully enjoy the gift of today because of that.
But, take a closer look at the word. History. His-tory. HIStory. His Story. History is His Story and all things that are a part of His Story are woven together “for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose.”
Best of all, if you are one of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, His Story is guaranteed to have a happy never-ending ending.
“And they lived happily ever after….”
Amen and Ehmen!
Though they are often the “butt” of many a joke, I have always had a special affection for donkeys. And, every year around Easter, that affection grows. Have you ever wondered why Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem oh so many years ago on what we now call Palm Sunday? Why not a strong, valiant horse? A horse worthy to roam the king’s pastures?
This week, in reflecting on that very question, I thought I’d ask God himself. And so, during my God time earlier this week, that is exactly what I did. As I sat quietly with nothing but a Bible, a blank page and a deep affection for The Father, these are the thoughts that came to rest deep in my spirit.
“Child, do you remember the verses in My Word in which I told you that the first will be last and the last shall be first; those that remind you to be a humble servant? My friend, the donkey, is a fitting image of what I expect from my children. Humble, hard-working, peaceful. I don’t need pomp and circumstance from you. I just need a willing, servant’s heart.
I asked for a donkey to ride me into Jerusalem for many reasons, one being to remind all of my children that it matters not how the world sees you, but instead how I see you. This donkey, considered one of the least among his kind, was fit for a King. With a servant’s heart and attitude, he escorted me into Jerusalem and into my destiny and this is exactly what I ask of you, dear child—a servant’s heart and attitude that I can use to take me to the people of the world and into my ultimate and eternal destiny. I want ALL of my children with me in eternity. Even one lost grieves my spirit so. Think of those parents who have lost one of their children to drugs, alcohol or depression. Think of the parent whose child has run away, who they’ve lost all contact with. Oh how their heart grieves! Now, multiply that by infinity and that is how I feel about my lost children. My heart is not complete without them. My kingdom is not whole. They are MY children. All of them. No matter what they have done. No matter what they haven’t done. They are MY children and I love them. And, I need you, to help me bring them home. I need you to be like that humble, willing donkey that will take me to my children; to my destiny as Father of All. Go read the story of the Prodigal Son. I will open your eyes to new things, my child. And, go through this day aware of my presence. I’ll be right beside you all the way. It’s going to be a good day, child. A very good day.”
Thank you, God, for this. Thank you for the donkey and thank you for now giving me a reason to smile when someone calls me one. 🙂 Amen and Ehmen!
We had become friends almost instantly; too quickly, according to some of our individual friends. Not that it mattered too much what others thought, because God was obviously and determined to put us together. And, neither of us were brave enough—nor willing—to say no to Him.
Of course, to begin with we both had questions, a lot of questions. Who wouldn’t, given the way we’d met and the fact that we had been drawn to one another practically from the get-go? How could an anonymous, virtual game of internet Scrabble, a chance meeting on a social networking site, lead to such a deep, tangible and very real friendship? What could God have possibly been thinking by pairing the two of us together and for what reason?
From the outside, we were just so different. Two very different women with different pasts and different presents. One, a single mom with two jobs and the other a semi-retired housewife. What’s more, we lived what seemed like a world apart—one in western Canada and the other in the southeastern United States.
But, on the inside, well, that’s where it all began to make sense. For on the inside, we were practically twins, soul mates whose bond was quick, yet undeniably powerful and steadfast. So powerful, in fact, that even against our common nature, we were drawn to each other, spending hours truly getting to know one another from the inside out. We talked about everything, from our childhood, to our adulthood, our pain and sorrow, our hopes and dreams, and most especially about God, who we both loved with all our hearts and who continued to make it abundantly clear that He wanted to be at the helm of our lives and that he wanted our lives to be intertwined forevermore.
No, there was absolutely no way this was a chance meeting. For two ordinarily private people highly skilled at hiding behind humor to finally lay down their weapons of defense—the very masks they used when they thought the rest of the world was looking—this most definitely had to be a God thing.
The next seven-plus years would prove that over and over again; and is the basis of a story that God has placed in my heart; a beautiful, unbelievable, but very true story that is sure to touch hearts and to help people for years to come. And, though life keeps getting in the way of actually getting that story set in ink, it is with pen in hand that the journey of purpose continues. One day…prayerfully soon…you will be able to read it in its entirety.
In the meantime, welcome back, Denny. My heart and home are yours. Amen and Ehmen!