How awesome is it that even in the darkest of times God shines like a lighthouse, a beacon of love, hope and trust in our darkest moments.
I used to wonder why they called good Friday ‘good’. I mean what could be good about Jesus dying right? What could be good about us nailing to the cross the saviour of the world? What could be good about that?
But out of darkness, potential hopelessness, out of the lost and hurting moments comes his love, his joy, his salvation, his forgiveness, shining ever brighter into an ever darkening world. Out of the moments we are pushed to the brink, come moments of amazing clarity, the miraculous. Moments when you can’t help but say – this is our God.
You see – our Fridays happen, but our Sundays always come. Good Friday for many would have looked hopelessly dark, for some a saviour they had believed in had seemingly abandoned them, while others clung to the hope that Sunday was coming. Thank God Sunday came. You see our God is a God of the miraculous, a God of love and a God who keeps his promises. He said he would rise again, he said he would return – and he did.
Oh how he loves us!
I love that verse in Psalm 56 that says he collects our tears in a bottle, not one of them is lost, he records them all in his book. It just makes me think of the Father, ever closer to us his children, sitting with us through the pain and the tears, so close to scoop up those tears as though they’re precious treasure.
There’s a great moment in the movie The Shack (spoiler alert) where the character playing the Holy Spirit takes out a bottle of collected tears and sprinkles it on the ground. Suddenly up spring flowers and trees of every colour and type, some bearing fruit others beautiful blossoms. It reminds me that out of tears and sorrow amazing and beautiful things can be born.
In the midst of some painful goodbyes the stress and the blessings I am constantly reminded, however tough the day, there’s never too much for God to handle.
I’ve seen so much this past fortnight that in loving others we feel more of his love for us. God told me this year that I would love but he would teach me also, how to be loved. He is a God that keeps his promises and the longer I am planted here the more I see that.
It wasn’t so many moons ago that my prayer late at night would just be for one friend who really understood, who cared for me, prayed for me and someone I could be completely honest with. I’m blessed to say I have many friends like this and I’m learning all the more that while I was looking for that friend it was actually me that had to change. You have to be willing to be open to find that kind of friendship and I know with many I’ve held back – afraid of… well afraid of who knows what.
The longer I live, the more I learn, that to be fearless in this life you have to be prepared to face the fear. Having courage never meant not being afraid. Having courage means to feel the fear and just stand your ground – let God do the fighting, just be prepared to move.
The beginning of this year has been event-filled already – good, bad and glorious. It’s in the challenges that I’m being reminded that whatever I face God has faced it already; whatever I’m afraid of he helps me to stand and faces things with me. He’s given me friends that remind me I’m never alone, that God always goes before me and that they’re praying for me.
I am overwhelmed, blessed and learning to be loved – I’m being rooted for, believed in and challenged to be the best and do the best I can, not in my own strength, but putting what I have into God’s hands and letting him take control.
Loved beyond reason, beyond measure, beyond understanding by the God of the universe who planned my life before I was a heartbeat.