Easter has come and gone but the resurrection still echoes its truth in my ears and my heart.
The song rings clearer still.
Hope, it sings.
I know I write often on here about my sickness. I suppose that is just the season of life I’m in. A season, I perhaps, will always be in. But only the Lord knows that.
Suffering awakened a longing within me for home. It was a longing that was there prior, but a longing that I have since experienced more deeply.
This world is not as it should be. It is broken. It is marred.
Children shouldn’t die of cancer. ISIS shouldn’t run rampant. Racism shouldn’t exist. Divorce shouldn’t happen. Politicians shouldn’t be corrupt. Poverty shouldn’t wage. Earthquakes shouldn’t destroy.
My body shouldn’t be broken.
But we live in a world that has been tainted by sin. My daily battles with the sin in my life are a constant reminder of this. In Christ, I have been saved from the penalty of sin and I have been saved from the power of sin (I am no longer its slave), but I have not been saved from the presence of sin. And the presence of sin and its effects are evident in realities such as human trafficking and the infant dying in his mother’s arms. It is in my bitter heart toward an unkind customer. And it is in my sickness.
And this is why Easter is my favorite. The resurrection sings a song of hope.
True hope. Certainty in the promises of God. Faith–the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.
Because Jesus rose from the dead, everything He said is true. Because Jesus rose from the dead, I am saved by grace alone through faith alone. Because Jesus rose from the dead, I am a slave to righteousness. Because Jesus rose from the dead, I have nothing to fear. Because Jesus rose from the dead, I can rejoice in hope.
Because Jesus rose from the dead, I can live with my illness.
As I walk (and oftentimes crawl) through life battling chronic illness, I rest in the hope of the resurrection.
The resurrection is my hope. It is my joy. It is my life. Without it, there is no truth to what I believe. Without the resurrection, my faith is futile and I am still in my sins. Without the resurrection, my light and momentary affliction would be unbearable.
Tim Keller writes, “Suffering is unbearable if you aren’t certain that God is for you and with you.”
And, He is. I know that because of the resurrection.
Throughout the past year and a half I have reached unimaginable lows. I have pleaded with God to kill me. I have contemplated suicide.
But in the midst of my darkness, there shone the hope of the resurrection.
“Jesus lost all his glory so that we could be clothed in it. He was shut out so we could get access. He was bound, nailed, so that we could be free. He was cast out so we could approach. And Jesus took away the only kind of suffering that can really destroy you: that is being cast away from God. He took so that now all suffering that comes into your life will only make you great. A lump of coal under pressure becomes a diamond. And the suffering of a person in Christ only turns you into somebody gorgeous.”
The resurrection is proof that one day He will make all things new. That one day He will wipe every tear from my eyes. My body won’t be broken anymore. I will be free from the presence of sin. I will see His face.
The resurrection is proof that one day all of the sad things will come untrue.
No matter what happens in this life, I have an unwavering hope. No matter what I get or do not get. No matter how wonderful or how painful. I have an unyielding hope.
“That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God. Our suffering has meaning and purpose in God’s eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.”
I often long for home. But I pray that my time on this earth will be used to tell the world about that home–and the resurrection that makes going home possible.
Easter has come and gone, but the song remains–that beautiful song of hope. Oh, sweet hope. Hope that is all I have. Hope that is all I need. Hope that has set my heart free.