A note from Kelly King: Today is Good Friday. We say it is “good” not because we celebrate the pain of the cross, but because of the hope of Sunday and the resurrection. Christ not only returned to life, but He overcame death forever. Our prayer for you this Easter season is that you will experience the celebration of the resurrection by inviting Christ to personally come into your life and into your heart. If you don’t know what that entails or you would like to know more about following Christ, contact me at email@example.com. Happy Easter!
Life is full of promise. Life is full of pain. The tension is found in holding both of these together in one heart and one hand in equal measure. This is challenging on the best of days, but for the person who is grieving or suffering, it is increasingly difficult.
There is no easy “how to” for holding promise alongside our pain except for one little word: choose. Pastor and author Wayne Cordeiro says this, “Suffering will change you—but not always for the better. You have to choose that.”
If ever there was a moment when a group of Jesus followers had to hold pain and promise together it was at the crucifixion. Today is Good Friday, the day of devastating loss for those who were present on that hill in Jerusalem. With that event already in the history books, it is hard for us to imagine the devastating loss, shock, and sadness they must have felt. Let that settle on you for a moment. Jesus tried to tell them what to expect, but with the shock of His death, the promise was hard to see. Even the resurrection itself was hard to believe at first; they had to choose to see it.
Those of us who are grieving or suffering have a similar choice. We can be “Friday facing,” “Saturday stuck,” or “Resurrection resting.” Here’s what I mean. In our loss and pain, we can choose to face full on the devastation, loss, and shock without any glimpse of hope or help. This is Friday facing, similar to what the disciples experienced with the death of Jesus. We can also be stalled on Saturday which represents being deeply sad but willing to be curious and glance in a hopeful direction. Or we can rest in the promise of resurrection Sunday. Resurrection resting is choosing to find glimpses of hope and promise in our present pain.
This season of celebrating Easter is a beautiful time to speak into the lives of women who are hurting. I love visuals and analogies and Good Friday/Easter is the perfect time to speak into someone’s pain. I invite you to steward well this season in someone’s life, using the disciples and their experience with loss along with the promise of the resurrection to help someone give words to what they might be experiencing in their own loss. Challenge and encourage them to be willing to turn their eyes toward the promise. Give them the gift of waiting for them until they’re ready to do that.
Theologically speaking, we are Saturday people. We are living between the now and the not yet, caught between resurrections. Every day we make the choice to face Friday and see only the pain or turn and face Sunday, seeing glimpses of eternity in our present. What will you choose today? Will you face Friday or turn and let the sun (the Son) shine on your face as you face Sunday.
To those of you experiencing loss through death, may I remind you that because of the resurrection, death is not the end! In a single gulp, Jesus swallowed up death and promised eternal life for all who will believe. Hallelujah.
He is risen, my friends.
He is risen indeed!
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.