Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Devotion Five: Woe Is Me

Photo Courtesy of SSPivak
None of us enjoy grieving. Losing a loved one draws out emotions we prefer to keep at bay. We don't care to celebrate death. Instead, we mourn. We don our sackcloth and shed our tears.

It's in our human nature to wish our loved ones remained in their physical form with us rather than pass on into eternity. And frankly, it's quite selfish of us to desire they stay here full of pain and agony. Especially if we know they have accepted Jesus as their Savior and could spend eternity in heaven, free of pain, suffering and tears.

Just as the disciples gathered after the crucifixion of Jesus, we gather together to say goodbye at the funeral home.

Just as the disciples did after Jesus' death, we mourn and weep.

"Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene...
 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.
 And then they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe." ~ Mark 16:9-11

The disciples forgot what Jesus had told them before He endured the cross. They forgot that He promised them this was not the end. They forgot He promised them He would rebuild the temple. They forgot He told them He'd send them a Helper.

They suffered in their pain, rather than rejoicing in the abundance of life.

Jesus reminds us in John 16 that the pain and sorrow of labor is but a fleeting thing. The joy of new life replaces the anguish, and the anguish is quickly forgotten. (See verse 21.)

"Therefore now you have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you." - John 16:22 

God promises us that our sorrows will be turned into joy. A joy which no one can ever remove.

As a mother of four, some mornings feel like joy suckers woke up in the place of my children. The bickering and antagonizing begins with the opening of eye lids. It's not the way I'd choose to start my day. I could quickly lose my God-given joy.

But instead, I turn to Jesus. I pray. I read the Word. I fill myself with God's thoughts and ways before the break of dawn. I remember the promises of life He provides for me. 

"You will show me the path of life;
 In Your presence is fullness of joy;
 At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
 - Psalm 16:11

When I remember this, I refuse to allow another's attitude to steal the joy from my heart and my day. I don't have to. God promises it belongs to me. 

How do we receive this everlasting joy? Jesus tells us in John 16:24 it's as simple as asking:

"Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."

When we seek the Father's will for our lives, when we ask these things in Jesus' name, our joy will be made full. God will provide what we need to fulfill His purposes for our lives. And when we walk in that, we find our hearts flooded with His presence and the joy that comes from an abundant life and fulfillment.

Lord, help us to put off a spirit of sorrow and replace it with Your abundance of life. Help us to find joy and to celebrate life, rather than wallow in our tears and sackcloth. Help us to believe in Your Truth, receiving the blessings You've promised us in this life. We ask that Your will be done in our lives, in Jesus' name. Amen.       

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful and so well written, thank you for sharing! have a blessed Easter


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