Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved the idea of flying.
In fact, any time I could pretend to be a superhero, it was always a flying superhero.
Even in my sleep, my recurring dream as a child and young adult was a “flying” dream.
In a world where folks can strap on wings to hang glide or buckle into a parachute to skydive, the idea and experience of “flying” might appear like a very tangible opportunity, but the concept from my child-brain and the actuality of taking flight like Superman, isn’t something that happens in the real world. I can’t step off my back porch and take to the skies by just thinking about it. Not really. And as hard as I try to imagine it, I’m sure REALLY being able to fly would be much better than what I think or dream.
I ESPECIALLY wanted the power to fly during this past year. As the world has been on constant lockdown or intermittent quarantine, the desire and hope to “fly away” from it all hit hard some days.
How about you?
There were times, when the struggle of online school, managing work from home, lonely kids, canceled plans, sick friends, grieving loved ones, and a host of many other painful transitions, hit at my hope like few other things have. There has been such a wearying feeling of helplessness and hopelessness for many folks.
I think that’s why the story of Easter is particularly potent this year.
In a time of great grief when the long shadows of death or loneliness hover so close we feel saturated in them, the tale of God’s powerful love brings an added sense of wonder and…hope.
As the Son of God was convicted for a crime he didn’t commit, suffered the eternal wrath of God alone, died as a criminal in one of the most hideous deaths of the time, and was hastily buried in a borrowed tomb, the deep shadows of grief fell across the world, and especially on his followers. In their minds, hope had died along with their Master.
The darkness had won.
Or so, they thought.
But we know the rest of the story.
Christ rose from the dead. Death was defeated. God’s wrath on sin was satisfied.
Hope didn’t just emerge; it blew the stone off the grave with a finality to change eternity.
In Christ’s death on the cross, God affirmed his compassion and love for His people, but in Christ’s resurrection, God displayed his ability and power to secure His millennia of promises for His people.
He didn’t just tell us about why we should find hope in Him.
He showed us in 3-D certainty why we can find hope in Him. He was not only willing, but completely able.
God’s plan proved beyond anyone’s imagination. Which is why, when we face hardships of pandemic proportions, we can find comfort in the God who is not only willing but able to work outside of our human imaginations to do remarkable things. (especially when the world looks dark).
And He does! Every moment. He gives purpose to our struggles when the long shadows fall upon our lives. No second of our lives is outside of God’s power to touch or beyond his ability to use for our growth and His glory.
And He is efficient. Every grief, every sting, every frustration…he takes them and uses them to work in us an awareness of who He is and who we are in Him.
As you prepare your heart to celebrate Easter, I encourage you to focus on Christ. Circumstances may be hard, but God is still the Creator of amazing things…even in, and many times through, our trials.
God used the impossible to secure hope for His people. And He’s still doling out hope, even in the middle of devastation or despair. He’s near. He hears. He is with us.
There is hope.
He is risen!
Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.