Hope of the Resurrection
Life of Christ (Week 15 of 27)
Hope of the Resurrection
The only reason I’m better at waiting than my five-year-old is that I have a few years under my belt.
“You’re so patient,” some stranger mentioned, seeing me wrestling a toddler in one arm, a whiny kindergartner in the other, and a dramatic grade schooler off to the side.
By the grace of God, I just smiled. What I was thinking was something to the effect of, “Listen, lady, if by ‘patient,’ you mean that I’m ready to wring all three of these little blessings from God and hang them out back on the clothesline, then you’re right.”
In fact, if you had mentioned “hope of the Resurrection” to me at that moment, I would have agreed. That was the only hope I would have felt!
But there is hope, even when the darkness seems to stretch.
God’s delays are mysterious; sorrow is sometimes prolonged for the same reason for which it is sent. God may abstain for the moment from healing, not because Love does not love, but because Love never stops loving, and a greater good is to come from the woe. Heaven’s clock is different from ours. Human love, impatient of delay, would urge speed.
Life of Christ, Chapter 31, paragraph 10
Have you ever found yourself praying for something over the course of time that stretched on and on and on?
Dear friends of mine have been struggling with the sale of their home in one state and subsequent relocation to another. They have a number of children, ranging in ages from grade school to high school, and extended family members to care for as well.
Other friends and family members have found themselves facing the sorrow of longing for children and facing repeated miscarriages. They’ve faced the pain of loss and the wound of emptiness.
Yet another family I know faced the sudden, unexpected death of the father. At 38, he suffered a massive heart attack and died. His daughters, ages 8 and 11 at the time of his death, have matured into lovely young women in the six years since his death, yet I can’t help but wonder at God’s timing.
It seems asinine at best to remark about the good that I’ve seen come from any of these situations. And yet, I could outline for you specific outcomes in my own life that have been positive…and I can link them to these seemingly negative situations.
Does this make God a monster, after some ideal “greater good” that comes at the expense of those of us who haven’t done a thing to deserve it? How are we to understand this sort of thinking?
I find Sheen’s writing comforting on this, because instead of pointing to something that sounds a lot like an excuse and not at all like logic, he brings it home to the Resurrection.
“The works of evil are sometimes done in a hurry,” Sheen writes. “Our Lord told Judas to go about his dirty work ‘quickly.'”
If Christ had said: “I am the Resurrection,” without promising to bestow spiritual and eternal life, there would have been only the promise of reincarnations into successive layers of misery. If He said: “I am the Life,” without saying, “I am the Resurrection,” we would have merely the promise of our continued discontents. But by combining the two, He affirmed that in Him was a life which, by dying, rises to perfection; therefore death was not the end, but the prelude to a resurrection in the newness and fullness of life. It was a new way of combining the Cross and glory, which ran like an antiphon through the Psalm of His life.
Life of Christ, Chapter 31, paragraph 19
The hope Jesus offers us is found through the pain. Instead of telling us to get over it, He points the way through it, and then He offers to carry the burden.
Not that I’m feeling that so much, especially when the drama is at its loudest in the late afternoon, right before dinner. But there’s hope…for me and for those young humans I’m wrangling!
In fact, there’s hope for all of us…hope in the Resurrection!
1. When do you find yourself most frustrated by the pain you see in life? How can you offer it to God and walk with Jesus through it?
2. Who needs your prayers today? Think of someone who is suffering and offer your small crosses for their salvation.
Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!
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