By Joy Lenton
As we continue to ponder the wonder of the resurrection of Jesus and His release from death’s steely grip, we would love our own mini-resurrections as such to be just as sudden, miraculous and breathtaking.
For the healing to be spontaneous, pain to disappear, long held hopes to be met and dreams to come true. Because sitting within the dark soil of our thorny, intractable situations, we long for release, new life to burst forth and bloom brightly.
But what if faith and change look more like a long walk of obedience in the same direction? What if simply showing up and saying a daily yes to God could precipitate alteration and heavenly celebration?
We say it is good to let go and let God, while many of us actually want Him to loose us from the chains of daily captivity – from a life-less-ordinary, unwanted circumstances, overly busy schedules, the stress and strain of our earthly existence.
In the letting go we are actually still rooted in reality, but the difference is we are trusting God for outcomes we cannot see. It’s not a resignation, a careless giving up or a turning away from those challenges. It’s a heart’s moment by moment decision to loose the hours and the future into God’s hands, to choose to trust where we cannot see, to decide to yield to His will and ways for our lives.
It’s letting our cares and concerns be looked after by our Burden-Bearer, allowing our own perceived control to go, to release stress, strain and pain to the One who gives us His perfect peace right in the midst of life’s muddles and mess.
And in the unloosing, we discover how it begins to make us free on the inside. Resurrection hope means that real freedom lies in a surrendered heart and life. Externally, life may go on as before but we are able to see things from a fresh perspective, have hope renewed, sense relief and feel at peace as our souls rejoice in the giving over to God.
Living in liberty
Sinking again into the darkness
of our self-inflicted tombs,
we often fail to see or sense God’s
presence within. He waits with patient
tenderness and deep willingness
to roll away those confining stones
which seal our hope and prevent
us living in His Light and liberty.
All God asks of us is a willing yes
as He works diligently to remove
one obstacle after another, to reveal
His great grace and unfailing desire
to be our soul’s first, true Lover,
dearest friend, guide and brother.
Is it easy? By no means. We lean toward God’s light while our wayward hearts tug us toward the accustomed darkness. It’s a decisive stretch in His direction, a matter of mind over matter and a wobbly walk of faith that leads to our souls rising strong.
My own heart has been down dark pathways recently as inexplicable discouragement sat heavy within. Life is so often not what we want it to be. There has been a real inner tussle and a painful deliberation to pursue peace and joy when it all seems so elusive.
But I urge you to keep looking toward the light of God’s countenance, keep pursuing Jesus for all you are worth and fight for your faith when it feels like everything around you is trying to pull you away from it.
We have our struggles because we live in a fallen world and in the here-but-not-fully-here-yet Kingdom where the enemy seeks to push us to our knees – and that’s in despair rather than prayer.
Yet we see glimpses of grace whenever we look for them. We see life and truth and beauty. We see joy in the midst of pain and hope nibbling at the edges of despair.
So if these post-Easter weeks have left you depleted, lift your weary head and remember this – God loves you so very much; you will be sustained, given strength to live with life’s challenges, hope to replace sadness, unexpected joy in dark places, and grace upon grace to become eternally whole as you are being renewed from the inside out.