When I was going through a battle with breast cancer, there was one day in particular that I was in so much pain. My hair had fallen out and my scalp was so sore. I had hemorrhoids so bad that when I went to the bathroom, I felt like I was being cut with knives on the inside. I had gained weight from steroids and I just couldn’t take it. I had chest expanders in and sensations that felt like bee stings from my healing nerves that had been cut into. On this day, I burst into tears. I crawled into bed and laid there crying. When my sweet husband noticed I hadn't come down stairs for awhile, he came and found me, wrapped his arms around me, and reminded me of words written in Lamentations 3:22 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.”
During that time I was a believer in Christ, I believed in the Resurrection, but in that moment, my emotions were preventing me from hoping fully in Jesus. I was overcome with sadness and I needed His word to penetrate through my emotions and remind me that my suffering would not last. I could not rely fully on my emotions to get me through pain. I had to rely on His word.
I think we see this concept in the Bible. This idea where a believer allows their emotions to get in the way of hoping fully in the resurrection.
Let’s look at Mary Magdalene. In John 20:1-11it is written:
“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the Tomb…. A few verses later it says,
“Mary stood weeping outside the tomb and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid him. Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing but she did not know it was Jesus, Jesus said to her, Woman why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking? Supposing him to be a gardener she said, Sir if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away. Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
Her tears are justified. Mary has a history and a story. Remember she was the one “From whom Jesus cast 7 demons.” She was once in a spiritual darkness. She encountered Jesus and she got her life back. Jesus was her friend, her redeemer and now He is dead and His body is gone.
But in John 20:15 Jesus doesn’t say, Mary your tears are justified… keep crying… keep feeling sorry for yourself… You know what He says?
“Why are you crying? Why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
Her emotions were causing her to fail to see Jesus right in front of her and get to work. Her emotions were causing her to forget that Jesus had to die and rise again just like He had once taught them.
Now I am not dismissing our feelings. Or our circumstances, In fact I believe that tears can be a blessing… But Sometimes our emotions can prevent us from hoping full in the resurrection. We become blind to what the Bible says because we are overcome with how we feel. But let’s let Mary be our example…
Look at your life with new spiritual vision:
Count up your losses
Loss of family
Loss of friendships
Loss of reputations
Loss of financial peace
Loss of a job
Loss of your health
And know that whatever your loss, the Resurrection speaks into them. Maybe you’re thinking, Those are her tears, not mine. Jesus doesn’t understand what I am going through or why I am crying…I understand how Jesus spoke into her tears, but what about mine?
Let’s look at the book of Revelation. The last book of the Bible. In this book, John, one of Jesus disciples, has this vision of the resurrected Jesus
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first, and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Jesus says, do not be afraid…write therefore the things that you have seen, and those that are to take place after this.
What does this have to do with our tears?
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall their be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
For the old order of things has passed away.”
This is where our story is headed ladies.
Check out the next verse:
“And he who was seated on the throne said, Behold, I am making all things new. Also he said, Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true.”
“Write this down. Write those things that are to take place after this…
I am making everything new.
He will make all things new. He will wipe away every tear.
This is where our story is headed, don’t let the worlds troubles cause you to lose sight of this.
Because this allows us to look into the face of debilitating loss with new eyes and say, “THIS WONT LAST.”
This won’t last.
This wont last.
It wont last.
There will be times when we say, “ I don’t think I can ever get through this.” When we are overcome with fear, failure, or tears, but the Resurrection tells us: this wont last.
When I go running, I have to have land marks. A point where I can look and say, “okay, only a little bit further, when I hit this, Im done, I can rest.” My biggest land mark is a blue trash can on a trail I run by my old high school. When I see it in sight, I know I wont have to run much longer until I can rest.
The Resurrection is our land mark.
These words are our landmark.
There is going to come a time when we can rest. This wont last.
When I lost my mom, one of the most comforting verses to me was:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
“For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
Christ will rise, and this won't last.
Sisters, I cant offer you hope in the words I write. But my prayer is that through this writing, God’s word permeates your thinking and when you experience loss, failure, and tears, you remember these words and are able to look at it with new eyes.
The words that tell us that He is coming back, with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and the sound of the trumpet of God. The words that tell us that the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we who are alive with be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord and we will always be with the Lord. I hope these words encourage you to remember that:
- Our trials, our tribulations. Won’t last.
- There will be days when you doubt this, and are overcome with fear of the future,
- There will be days when your feelings tell you to doubt God. When the wind is strong and causing you to fear, you’ll want to doubt and sink, but remember what God’s word says, not how are you are felling.
There will come a day when our tragic losses feels like a distant memory to the power and promise of a resurrecting God. This allows us in our most trying moments, our deepest pain, to be able to whisper: this wont last. This wont last.
Let’s close this writing by looking at 1 Peter 3:15
“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect...”
Notice that it says, be prepared to make a defense to anyone who ASKS for the reason…Anyone who asks. That means, people should be looking at our lives thinking: wow, why does she have the hope she does?
I want to end this writing by asking you a few questions:
1. Are people asking you about the hope you have within you?
2. What is the reason for the hope within you? Is it in your career, your marriage, your friendships, your health?
3. Do you live in a way that shows your confidence and hope in the resurrection?
Sometimes the best way to cultivate new vision, is to examine your current spiritual state.
I strongly encourage you to answer these questions. The Resurrection is able to reach us at our lowest moments. It might take a life time for us to really get this. But I hope this writing helps you in some way. I hope this writing encourages you to live with eyes stamped with eternity.