Hello everyone! I hope this message finds you in good spirits this Easter Sunday, and I hope that even in these trying times, we are still reminded of the message of hope that this day brings.
For me, this is definitely one of the strangest Easter Sundays of my life. So many things are up in the air right now: my school, my job, my career path, all of my relationships – even my mundane routines. Nothing feels normal. Most of the time, it’s pretty easy for me to despair and feel as though everything is going to be wrong forever. But this, my dear friends, simply isn’t true – and I want to tell you why.
On Easter, we celebrate Christ’s victory over death, but there is so much more to the story than that. On the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples probably expected a miracle. Although Jesus had told them what was going to happen, I can imagine that for many of them, this was hard to believe – after all, how could the Son of God simply die?
The disciples suffered a serious, soul-crushing defeat. Not only was Jesus their mentor and their Lord, He was also their friend. He walked with them and guided them. When He was executed, it must have been easy to feel hopeless, even though Jesus had told them that He had a plan.
In a way, that’s sort of how it feels right now. There is a deadly disease spreading throughout the world, and it seems as though God is just standing by, watching it happen. I remember a recent conversation I had over the phone with my boyfriend: “God could have stopped this, but He didn’t!” I said, while I sat on my bed and cried. “Why did He choose to let this into our lives?”
However, even though I don’t understand why these things are happening all around us, I choose to believe God’s word. The Bible says that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), and that includes even when we don’t understand why those things have to happen in the first place.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28
Right now, it feels easy to lash out in anger at those around us. We are compelled to place the blame on others, in the same way Peter felt compelled to lash out at the men who came to take Jesus away (John 18:10). It is easy to be angry and afraid. This, however, is not what we are told to do.
It’s important to remember that Jesus didn’t rise immediately after His death in the cross. The Bible tells us that He was buried, and His tomb was sealed completely. For everyone involved, it seemed pretty final. It must have seemed as though there was no way things could get better.
Right now, it sort of feels that way. I certainly can’t see God working – at least not in the way I’d like to. There’s no magic cure suddenly falling from the sky. There are no deathly ill patients waking up in the morning mysteriously healed. God has all the power to do this, and yet He hasn’t.
After a battle in the grave, the Bible tells us that Jesus rose from the dead and, after making his appearance to his disciples, He ascended into heaven. For the disciples and for Christians everywhere, this is the best news ever. After all, this is the ultimate victory!
So where is our victory now?
This is a question I consider often. Instead, of giving us an immediate miracle, God is asking us to wait. He is asking us to be patient. He is asking us to be still and to rest in the knowledge that even in the midst of all this chaos, He is still God.
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”Psalm 46:10
A lot of people have the theory that this crisis is the result of evil running rampant all over the Earth, and if “sinners would only repent, this would all get better”. Others believe that it is proof that God has officially left us to our own devices. I think that it is foolhardy to try and make sense of why this has all happened, when none of us have all of the pieces of the puzzle, and there is plenty going on that we can’t see.
Remember, Jesus fought a battle that none of his disciples could see. When they thought the end had come, Jesus’ fight had only just begun. There is always more to the story than we can know, and until it is all revealed to us, it is dangerous to make speculations and place blame.
Instead, I find it helpful to ask myself a simple question:
What is God trying to show me through this?
The truth is, we are all sinners. We are all flawed. We are all broken. We all need Jesus, every single day. This has never changed.
Through this time of change, isolation, uncertainty, fear, frustration, and even death, there are things that God is showing us individually. During my Bible study last week, I asked God to show me what He wanted me to learn from all of this, and He led me to this verse:
For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away what is promised.Hebrews 10:36, AMP
Instantly, I felt convicted. Lately, I’ve had a bad attitude. I’ve been angry at God for making me wait, for letting this virus disrupt my life, my job, my school, and my relationships. It feels as though my prayers just bounce off the ceiling sometimes, and though even I know He could stop this all from happening, it infuriates me that He won’t.
But my prayers are changing. Instead of “God, please stop the coronavirus so that I can get back to my life,” it’s become “God, show me how to be still. Show me how to be patient. Show me how to trust You, even though I can’t see You working.”
Since changing my mindset, something amazing has begun to happen in my life. It’s as though a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. My prayers are answered every day – in the form of peace in my spirit and joy in my heart, even though everything around me seems to be falling apart.
This Easter, I hope you take the time to reflect on what God is doing in your life. Maybe, like me, you need a change in attitude. Maybe you need to learn patience and endurance. Maybe, like the disciples, you need to learn to trust that God has a plan, even when you can’t see Him working.
Whatever is going on in your life, I hope that this is a reminder that no matter what, there is hope in Jesus – both for eternity and for today. My prayer for you is that you feel this hope and that your joy is renewed each and every day.
Happy Easter everyone, and God bless you all.
The Anxious Introvert