Last week was a well-timed kickoff of my online virtual Zoom study for Discovering Jesus…
Tomorrow is Easter and I can feel the amazement and encouragement rising up inside of me that goes along with the resurrection of our Savior. I have the privilege of spending the weekend with my oldest son, his wife and their two daughters. As so often happens, the most profound insights in my life come from interactions I have with the people I love the most.
Just last night, Brock said, “I never really understood the unconditional love of God and the need we all have to be disciplined by God until I had kids. Now I get it. There are some things in life you can only learn through experience.”
It was a reminder to me once again about the reality of life. Life is awesome and filled with great memories. At the same time, life is littered with conflict, disappointment and unexpected pain. At some point in life, we come to the realization that we cannot control the circumstances. We can only control the condition of our hearts and our response.
I got to thinking about this because I just read Luke 17:24-25, “For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” There is a glorious future for Jesus. He is about to rise from the dead. It is the week He is going to accomplish the most important work that has ever been done on the face of the earth. He is going to secure the ability to give eternal life to all who will believe. “But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” Ouch!
I read a passage with a similar idea in 2 Samuel 16:14, “The king and all the people with him arrived at their destination exhausted. And there he refreshed himself.” When David and his men finally arrived, they were worn out. They did not find the refreshment they longed for until they “arrived at their destination.” I don’t want to go too far with this thought but there is certainly a parallel in our lives. We are all pursuing something. We either want great relationships, career success, personal peace, acceptance or some new opportunity. We have the sense that we will be okay if we can just get there. The path, however, is strenuous and by the time we find what we are looking for, we are exhausted. The tragedy in life is not in being tired, it is in giving up before we reach the place where we rediscover life.
This is what Easter is all about. The path for Jesus to get to Easter was dark, difficult, disappointing and demanding. He was beaten, abused, mocked and abandoned. By Friday night, it looked as if He had failed and all was lost. By Saturday night, disillusionment was setting in as His followers hid themselves for fear they might be next. They arrived at their destination exhausted! Sunday changed everything. They never saw it coming even though they had been told. They were completely surprised by the event even though Jesus had promised this very thing. They couldn’t comprehend it because, even though they had heard the truth, they hadn’t learned it through experience.
As I celebrate Easter this year, I am going to try to remember that the exhaustion I feel during my journey in life means I am getting closer to my destination.