Some of you can’t summon a joyful “Hallelujah” this Easter weekend. You don’t feel like donning that new dress or tie. You are not interested in putting on a forced smile and sitting in a church filled with people who appear to have it all together.
I imagine that many of us (if we’re being honest) actually prefer the darkness of Friday and Saturday. These days feel much more like our reality. God seems distant. Hope is missing in action. We despair because someone or something out of our control has wreaked havoc on our lives and rendered it hellish. Maybe it’s disease, or violence, or abuse, or loss. Just as likely, we’ve created our own sort of hell through foolish decisions or sinful choices. Perhaps we’ve chosen bitterness and anger. We’ve ruined a relationship. We’ve perpetrated an offense.
I understand the preference for the darkness. Certain seasons of my own life were hellish. I know what it’s like to live in a mess of my own making and to cry out to a seemingly distant and silent God. Those days were dark and incredibly lonely, albeit temporary. Thankfully, darkness always gives way to light.
If you are stuck in the darkness, trust me when I say that you are not alone. No matter what is going on around you or within you, God has not forgotten you or turned a deaf ear to your cries. Quite the opposite, in fact, God knows the depths of your despair because God experienced it on that first Good Friday. Here’s the thing about Friday – it will inevitably turn into Saturday, and Saturday will give way to Sunday on this weekend and in your life.
A friend shared this hauntingly beautiful song with me this week, and I’ve been thinking about it for a few days. Take a listen. If you’ve ever felt forsaken by God for any reason, take heart. Even hell is not a God-forsaken place…