I just got home from my first Good Friday service and dinner on the beach with good friends afterwards. I’ve never had the opportunity to go to a Good Friday service and was a bit hesitant to go after a long, lazy day, but am so incredibly glad that I did. It sounds strange to say that it was a celebration of the crucifixion, but to remember the precious sacrifice on the day that it’s recognized world over was something beautiful to be a part of. Praise and worship was threaded throughout the reading of the Biblical account of our Lord’s death. Communion followed so naturally and the depth of it’s meaning penetrated the hearts of those attending even more deeply than usual.
During dinner, we discussed Passover and Sader and life and ministry. We held hands around the table and prayed…to be with other believers celebrating the moment in time that changed every one of our lives and gave each of us hope was something I will never forget.
It seems to me that life is always full of endings and beginnings…Christ’s death was an “ending” in a sense, but only 3 days later LIFE was renewed, unfolding a beautiful new beginning for each of us. In my life lately, I’ve seen examples of this over and over. My time at work is coming rapidly to a close, but my new adventure is a wide-open door before me.
Yet in other areas of life, I’m experiencing deja vu. I find myself haunted by painful cycles that seem all too familiar…things I’ve faced 1, 2, 3 times in the past pop back up for the 7th or 8th time and I wonder what lesson God is trying to show me in all of it that I didn’t get the first time. Or the second. Or the third. Why certain situations that really aren’t that important just seem destined to follow you through life trying to cause you to look backward instead of looking forward and facing the world head on. Yet each and every situation I’ve gone through has brought me closer and closer to the realization of what I just typed. Sometimes, maybe, those situations that hit out of the blue that we can’t control are merely arrows of the enemy trying to get us to live in the past. To recall past pains or hurts…which removes our focus from where it should be. On Him. And His ever present plan and purpose for our lives that calls us to strain for what lies ahead, not looking back and being hindered. It’s an interesting revelation when you finally realize that though you can’t control what happens to you, you can control your reaction. You can get caught up in protecting yourself and warding off the blows or you can go on the offensive and keep running, taking the blows as they come. So in a strange way it’s encouraging and slightly exciting. By human standpoints, I’m setting out completely alone on this new venture. In reality, I can never be alone for I have all that I need. Christ in me, the hope of glory. An intangible reality made tangible by an incredible sacrifice.