“we can grasp the full meaning of the Resurrection, we first have to witness or experience crucifixion. If we spend our lives so afraid of suffering, so averse to sacrifice, that we avoid even the risk of persecution or crucifixion, then we might never discover the true wonder, joy and power of a resurrection faith. Ironically, avoiding suffering could be the very thing that prevents us from partnering deeply with the Risen Jesus.”
~ Nik Ripken, The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected.
The Great Smokey Mountains caught fire and burned, and in the burning almost feels like the straw that broke the camel’s back. The loss of children in Chattanooga to a senseless school bus accident, a car accident over Thanksgiving that took one of our town’s last year’s high school graduates, merciless violence at Ohio State. In the last few months, we lost my oldest aunt, my husband’s mother. A strange red car drove through my front yard today and off into the field beside us, and, like each one of us, I have my own challenges that try to steal my peace, grace and faith. It’s not just me that feels breathtakingly overwhelmed.
There are so many people hurting right now – hurting through the loss of loved ones through the in-your-face hard things like sickness, disease/cancer, car accidents, violence, through wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and all sorts of natural disasters, hurting, too, through the inside hurts that most cannot see but are wounds that nevertheless try to steal the grace, faith and hope right out of our souls.
In all of this, I hold on to the one who won’t let go of me.
Mountains may burn, the senseless and overwhelming may happen, the little foxes may tear at the vines, but God never waivers in his constant love for you and me. God has ever remained faithful, has always pursued each of us, sent his son so that we could live resurrection after each hard crucifixion whether physically, emotionally or spiritually.
I pray each person hurting right now stand firm in the Holy Spirit overflow of God’s love, knowing that He’s got it – whatever you’re wrestling with, whatever sadness or fear that threatens to overcome -each of us rest in the peace of comfort that He’s got it.
The solution may not look like what we anticipate.
The right now might not feel like salvation or resurrection. Yet, despite the crucifying hurt of the right now, I pray that we stand in the hope of our belief in our faith that with Him we will rise out of the darkness of these overcoming hurts into the joyous hope that Christ’s resurrection brings each of us.
Growing along the trail about 1/2 from Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smokey Mountains, Spring 2016