Friends, I want to ask you something…
What do you see right now? Is your house buzzing with the afternoon activity of family and pets? Are you sitting at a coffee shop scrolling through social media and people watching while you drink your latte? Or are you sitting in your cubicle at work staring at a computer screen with flowcharts and figures? Currently, I’m sitting at my computer with a window to one side where I can see the green trees and flowers just outside my window. Greta, our Weimaraner, is walking around patrolling our house while my kids are busy making afternoon snacks.
Now, I have a harder more probing question to ask you…
What do you see with the eyes of your heart?
Yes, I know, that isn’t an easy question to answer but I want you to honestly take a look at what the eyes of your heart see right now. Are they focused on the pain caused by a loved one? Do they see the stress caused by deadline after deadline looming on your calendar? Are they filled with rage at the action of someone you once considered a friend? Does worry from a waiting diagnosis have you focusing on the what ifs?
I ask this question because for me, the eyes of my heart have been focused on some very painful, gut wrenching struggles going on around me with loved ones and friends. While these situations are beyond my control, they have taken over and controlled my thoughts to the point that I haven’t thought about much else. I have prayed for good test results, reconciliation, calm spirits and begged God to intervene in some very difficult situations.
If you were to ask me if my heart was focused on where it should be I would have told you of course it was – that was until yesterday morning when I received a text that brought it all into perspective. You see, I’ve spent many hours in prayer over each of these issues and thought my heart and mind were focused on the right thing but, when I received the text asking me a simple question and I couldn’t answer, I knew my heart and mind were not focused on the right thing.
What was the question??? It was simply, “What are your plans for Easter?”.
Um hello!! Easter??? I haven’t given it much more than a glancing thought. My heart was so focused on other concerns that I was at risk of completely overlooking the most important aspect of my faith …the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My friends, my heart nearly broke in two. How could I become so overwhelmed with the struggles of life that I completely cast aside the love of God to send His Son to die on the Cross for my sins? I’m not going to lie it hit me like a ton of bricks.
My prayer is, that you haven’t realized that you’ve done the same thing. But if you have, I don’t want you to beat yourself up. Instead I want you to give yourself a break and admit yes, life is hard but there is so much to celebrate.
You may be in a Good Friday of your own where life is harder than you care to admit – fear of a potential diagnosis, discouragement from an unmet expectation, heartache over a broken relationship, or financial concerns that won’t go away – but there is so much more than the fear, heartache and pain. There is celebration in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
Tomorrow is Good Friday. In the weight and heaviness of the reality of Christ’s torture and death it was impossible for Mary (Jesus’ Mother), John and his loved ones to see any reason for joy and celebration BUT GOD in His amazing, loving. miraculous ways RAISED JESUS FROM THE GRAVE. Three days later there was a celebration like no other on earth. God’s plan for our salvation was made known in the resurrection of Jesus. HALLELUJAH!! He came to earth, died and was raised 3 days later to save us from our sins!
Friends, I know life may be hard right now. The eyes of your heart may be focused only on the struggles you awake with each morning and go to bed worried about each night but can I ask you to take some time today to spend alone in prayer? Lay your concerns, worry and fear over to God and trust Him to carry those burdens. Ask Him to change the focus of the eyes of your heart and mind to see Christ on the Cross who loved you so much He died in order for you to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:28-30“Then the disciples went back to where they were staying. Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomband saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him. Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.” John 20:10-18