Man, time flies. I’ve been in and out of the hospital over the past three months, suffering from serious stomach issues, then last week I broke my arm getting out of bed. My timing is impeccable! It’s hard to believe this Sunday is Easter. I am still healing so will be spending this Easter in my recliner not moving, which is best for now.
Several times over the last few months I have questioned why God has allowed me to be afflicted with such agonizing pain. I have gone through so many battles in this life, but I thought many times that this one would take mine. The Bible says that God collects our tears; His collection must be overflowing with mine.
We celebrate Easter to remember the sacrifice that the son of God gave so very long ago to save humanity from eternity in Hell if they believe. We remember the betrayal He felt when the people who cheered for Him one day demanded His death the next. We remember the pain He endured as His flesh was literally ripped off His bones with the worst kind of whips imaginable (more specifically a cat-of-nine-tails with pieces of sharp bone and metal attached to the ends). We remember how after His horrendous scourging, Christ was forced to carry a very heavy wooden cross a long way up to Calvalry alone until His body gave out completely. Then His hands and feet had 7-9 in. nails driven into them. Studies show that “the nail had to be driven in-between the bones of the forearm up close to the wrist while not severing any major arteries or veins. There is a space between eight small bones which is structurally suitable to permit a full body weight to be supported for a time.” Christ’s feet were together but turned outward, so the final nail was hammered inside the Achilles tendon. This was serious, grueling, agonizing, torture. His side was pierced and blood and water poured out of Him, ensuring His death many hours later. But three days later, the burial tomb was found empty (which was sealed with wax shut, by the way… Not to mention the stones usually used to seal tombs at the time weighed around 1-2 tons).
I tried to paint a picture here. Christ’s life was anything from a cakewalk. On the cross He cried out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” If you only knew how many times I’ve cried out the same thing…. “Where are You, Father?” “I can’t handle any more.” Yet, just as God didn’t save Christ from the cross even when He couldn’t handle any more, He didn’t remove this huge thorn from my side. I went through so much in the hospital; blood pressure bottomed out, then had an allergic reaction to blood pressure medicine which gave me a minor heart attack. When I say I’ve seen death I’m not exaggerating. My vitals crashed because I couldn’t keep anything in my stomach. And I’ve been angry… Not necessarily at God, but at the situation. I don’t understand. I can preach all day about how faith can get you through anything, but when you’re in the fire and can’t find the savior it’s not so easy.
Jesus understands this feeling. I’m confident He felt the same on the cross. One thing Christ commanded His followers to do is to “remember me”. We must remember the price He paid so that we might live. But, unfortunately, we humans are rather stupid creatures who easily forget the past and thus need reminders. What if pain, heartache, and suffering are necessary reminders of what Christ did for us so we appreciate His ultimate sacrifice? What if trials are allowed to make us long for our Heavenly home where pain and heartache are no more? Maybe I’ve lost my mind. Maybe all my pain meds are messing with me, but I still believe in God’s will. I also believe that He makes everything beautiful in His perfect timing. Guess what? I’m finally healing. I’ve been feeling so bad for so long I thought healing was impossible, but it’s finally happening; slowly but surely. It’s just past 1:00am. Good Friday has just passed, though I’ve never understood why it’s called “Good Friday” since it’s a memory of such a terrible day. But Sunday’s coming! And as with everything, joy comes in the morning. I’m still fighting, and this time I’ll win. Just as my Jesus resurrected, He will raise me up again as He always has.
Happy Easter! He is risen!