Lord, if only you were here, the storm would not have destroyed my home, the accident wouldn’t have taken my son, the disease would not have entered my body. If only, Lord, my brother would not have died.
Martha’s statement disturbs our faith. Quickly, we jump to the promise. Blow through the sadness as quickly as possible. Reach the resurrection part. “Your brother will rise again.” Finally, we breathe our sigh of deep relief. Ah, the world spins on its axis again and all is well.
See, we declare, what the Lord has done for us?
Proof of love. Proof of God’s goodness. Proof that we made the right decision when we cast our lot with Jesus.
There’s something incongruent in a faith that expects comfort, prosperity, and ease from a God-man with pierced hands. We’re tempted to reject words like tribulation, commands like pick up your cross, lose your life, and follow me. We take the broken bread into our hands hoping against hope that our own lives will never be broken.
But sometimes, we are broken.
“Somewhere along the journey, we each look into the face of darkness and ask a frightening question; why does God call His beloved children to such a dangerous place?” Why God Calls us to Dangerous Places, Pg 22
In the broken bread
What if we paused at the communion rail? What if we held the broken bread in our hands and acknowledged the broken places in our lives? Would we be able to lift our eyes to the one who held onto a joy set before him even as he endured, wailed, and died?
Could we taste the sweetness of resurrection’s hope through the bitterness of our own tears?
“In the midst of our pain filled conversation, I recognized that we were sitting in the sacred, the holy. We had brushed against the eternal, transcendent God. Our trauma, sorrow and grief was interwoven with grace, love and even, though it’s impossible to explain; joy.” Why God Calls us to Dangerous Places, Pg 25
We embrace hope
Is this the power of overcoming faith? The grave-clothes left behind are ours? New life emerges beautiful and vibrant? Can we hear Jesus say, don’t be afraid. Life is born through death. Let go of the stuff, your idols, and flimsy securities. Count the cost, yes, then place your hand in mine. Let’s enter to the world together. We have so much to do, so much to give, and the world’s hungry for the gifts we bring.
Is this the astonishing truth that Jesus has been trying to get us to understand for over two thousand years?
How have you experienced Christ through a season of loss?