Our little church has communion on Good Friday. That is today. And all those taking communion have a time of testimony the week before communion. I always look forward to these meetings – they are a time of sharing our joys, our struggles, our race of faith. These are real evenings – real battles that we face, real peace that we have found.
But when it came time for me to give my testimony, something faltered in me. In all honesty, I feel like God has put me through a fine-mesh strainer the past months. It’s been hard and humbling to open my heart up to the Father, knowing He will shake out all those things that don’t bring glory to Him.
Why does my flesh want to hold onto the selfishness and pride that I know will never bring me happiness? Because every single time that I have come before the Father, bringing Him my heart to be washed in the blood of Jesus, and laying down these struggles at the foot of the cross . . . I have such incredible deep peace that I never want to go back to the flesh’s way of living.
Yes, the struggle is real . . . but the peace is more real. More deep. More lasting.
Jesus struggled. This is one of the reasons I love this week of Easter. My own Savior battled mightily in the garden to lay down His will to the Father’s. All His flesh cried out to escape what He knew needed to be done. But because He moved past the struggle, obeyed the Father and went to the cross . . . we can now have victory.
Because He laid down His own will, we can too.
At our ladies retreat last week, people were sharing how it sometimes feels as if God has forsaken us. I’ve often wondered what those silent days were like between the crucifixion and the resurrection. The disciples must have felt completely and utterly deserted. All their hopes were buried in a hole in the side of the mountain, shut up and sealed forever . . . or so they thought.
Yet the most powerful act of redemption was being performed. In all that silence. In all that forsakenness. In all that aloneness.
God never ceased being God.
Sometimes we don’t know what God is actually doing in our own hearts . . . in the midst of a deafening silence. In the middle of that forsaken feeling we wonder if He even cares. When all we can concentrate on is the loneliness, we lose sight of the hope that He is still there.
He just might be working a work so huge, so magnificent, that our human eyes simply need time to understand and see it for what it is. Our human minds cannot grasp it all at once – we need to process it little by little.
But someday we will see this beautiful work of redemption that was happening . . . at the very moment we thought we were forsaken.
Because you see . . . God is still God.