Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Good (Grief) Friday

April 14, 2017

Good Friday. It’s here, and it makes us uncomfortable.

Why do I say that? Because everywhere I turn I read, & have even sent texts today that proclaim, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’!”

In the words of Jesus in the meal He had with His disciples in the Upper Room, I don’t see a “rush to get to Sunday’. Instead, I see an explanation of what was to come & the commanded words “do this in remembrance of me”. upper room

I sit with those words. I let the reality of death set in. I hear the whips of the strips of reeds bruise His flesh, and strips of leather with embedded shards of glass break open His flesh. I cry tears of grief and sadness, and I dare to stay in the place of grief, and remembrance for a while.

With the recent unexpected and sudden loss of my father, this particular Easter season carries more pain. It was our favorite holiday to celebrate together. I feel the urge and desire to want to rush through to Sunday. I want the Resurrection, and I want it NOW! But there’s silence that shrouds the air on Saturday just as the grave clothes remained on the body of our Jesus.

I just watched The Passion of the Christ. I’ve only seen it once before, and it was in the theater on opening week-end thirteen years ago! I swore I would never see it again. I told myself I didn’t need to see that again. I didn’t need to hear those sounds again. And I didn’t need to go “there” again…to that place of death.

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But don’t I? Don’t you? Don’t WE?

Our rush to get to Sunday echoes our current state as a society of how we tend to hurry through grief. We don’t “feel all the feels” because it’s just too painful. We hurry the process when even in death Himself, Jesus didn’t. We talk about the events of Friday afternoon (Crucifixion), and Sunday (Resurrection), but we leave Friday night, and all day Saturday in the realm of declared unimportance. But the truth is “unimportance” translates to numbness, denial, anger…and all the feelings about grief we don’t want to experience. We tell ourselves we don’t have time to deal with those feelings in the moment, and that we’ll come back later to feel them….but we never do.

And besides, why deal with grief and the pain of the silence of “Saturday” when it’s all about heaven (Sunday), right?

Well, I would say wrong. It’s all about God. He is the “maker of heaven and earth.”

And He, too, is the Designer of the process. And that process involves grief, silence, and sitting in those dark places that leave us wondering: What’s going to happen next? What do we do with ourselves now? Where is our hope? Do we really have any faith left? Why is God so silent…does He not care?

grief

In the midst of our pain & suffering, God meets us there. Both of my parents died on a Friday night, and a month ago when I lost my dad I asked God to reframe Fridays for me. He showed me that they both entered His eternal Shabbat (Sabbath) rest on a holy day. Even now as I type these words, I realize that’s what Jesus did, too. He paved the way for us to enjoy that rest forever. What a gift!

So, yes, I recognize the goodness of Friday every week, as well as this one called Good Friday which precedes Resurrection Day (Easter). It truly is the hope of heaven that sustains every believer in Jesus as we make it from Friday to Sunday. I just hope the grief of Saturday….the time in between…isn’t lost in celebration, but that it’s remembered with integrity.

It’s Good Friday, and Sunday’s comin’…..but so is Saturday.

hope

 

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Rerouting

April 16, 2016

Have you ever looked up an address on your GPS, looked at the overview and thought, “Oh, yeah….I know where that is.” But “just in case” you leave the GPS on. You know, “just in case” your memory isn’t what it used to be!

I needed to get my car alignment checked, and corrected. When I got new tires a month or so ago, I was warned the alignment was off, and I needed to get it checked or it would ruin my new tires in the same way it trashed my old ones.

Having the day off, I thought I should take the opportunity to actually take care of this issue since I’ve already put it off, and the noise from the tires was getting louder. So, I put in the name of the recommended automotive repair shop, looked at the GPS directions, and uttered those familiar words: “Oh, yeah…I know where that is.”  And just like that, I took off. After all, I knew where I was going.

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Well, after being warned by GPS to make several U turns, make a left turn here, a right turn there, I started second guessing myself.

Sigh.

Maybe I DON’T know where I’m going after all!

I had this thought, “Maybe I’ll just follow the GPS instructions, and see what happens.”

I STILL thought the crazy thing was wrong until I had this realization: I mixed up the two streets, Lebanon and Eldorado. The truth was I DIDN’T know where I was going, but I would’ve bet everything I had that I was right. And I’d be homeless if I did wager a dime! I was WAY wrong!

Because of my “certainty”, I lost precious time getting…well, LOST. If I just would’ve trusted and listened to my GPS in the first place, I would’ve GAINED a few things like time, patience, & peace instead of LOSING those very things!

It was at that moment, when I realized my mistake, that I heard the Lord whisper to my heart, “You do the same thing with me sometimes, Leigh-Taylor.”

Ouch.

More sighs.

“You’re right God.”

The truth is sometimes I’ll receive a directive from God, and take off thinking, “Oh, yeah. I know where I’m going.” I know Proverbs 16:19 says, “Man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

216969d584656bb2918624a74e033389And sometimes like my trip today, I ignore the first time His voice tells me to make a U turn, or take a right, left, etc. I keep going my own way, thinking I know best. But then something stirs. A knowing deep in my spirit that something isn’t right, and that I need to pay attention to the Voice I hear.

Oh, the time wasted, the frustration felt, and the peace lost all in the name of doing thing MY way instead of His!

I’m thankful for teachable moments like these that come from hearing that still small voice from a merciful God that gently corrected me and gave me deep insight into something more than getting my car back into alignment.

It was a spiritual check up that revealed pride and busyness were throwing off my alignment with the Father.

I’m so thankful for a gracious God who ALWAYS knows where He’s taking us, and we can trust His directions!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

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