One week can make such a difference.
A few days ago, my world looked as though it would remain frozen forever.
But this morning, there is life all around me.
A yard capped with the fallout of heavy clouds tested faith that spring would come again as it has in the past, yet it was in fact the bed of waiting crocuses about to bloom.
One week, Jesus was buried in a tomb, battered beyond recognition. The next, he was having breakfast on a lakeside beach, reaching out with forgiveness and serving up fresh hope. The fast of death had been broken and he welcomed the feast of a new day.
His disciples were left to grow beyond their wildest imaginings!
Where the hard realities of one week in ministry or personal difficulties may weigh us down and focus our attention on what may feel like an endless season of cares, the movement of the Spirit in and through that place will awake us one morning to their transformed end where faith becomes sight … and we will look with wonder that we could have been in such a painful place so short a time ago when new joy bubbles up.
From dire situations we become fired up again to serve with passion and grace.
Transitions transpire. Competitions once conspiring against the well-being of the body cease and there is peace. The prayers and purposes of the faithful come to fruition and new life is released to inspire practices of health and hope.
Deeply entrenched patterns which keep the forming bud of emerging spiritual formation from bursting out in ourselves or among the people we serve may just be the container in which the sprouting of our full surrender will be best kept until the Spirit gives it birth at the perfect time when it can and will truly thrive, fully alive to Christ in us, the hope of glory.
One week, our inner battles and outer shackles of shameless opposition stretch across the scenes of our daily lives and we can barely remember what freedom of spirit is like. And then we come to the place one unexpected day when the Son reveals himself again with springtime warmth and teaches us that in him, our souls know no harm.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43: 18, 19)
The turning point in our experience of hurtful exchange and steadfast determination to stay the course over the long haul as we are led along by him may be just around the corner. We watch and wait and pray in the buried dreams or things that seem impossible to attain yet are in his will so we do not fall into the temptation of thinking he is not able to bring life out of our lifeless circumstances.
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ is coming again!
“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.” (1 Cor. 15: 1-5)
… twelve radically altered servant leaders in just one short week …
May his kindness wash over each one of us in our struggles, bringing every desperate thought captive to a certain hope which looks beyond today and sees what is to come.