Holy Week

I rejoiced to come into the house of the Lord last night. I rejoiced to lay down my burden and breathe in a deep sigh of relief. I emptied myself to be filled, and as I closed my eyes, I entered His Presence and God began to paint a beautiful illustration of Holy Week in my mind.

He took my hand and lead me through my Thursday. I laid like the beloved disciple with my head upon his breast. Then, he invited me to his table. He promised me his body and his blood. He walked me through my denial. He didn’t leave me in my betrayal. He reminded me of my struggle and the reality of my helplessness.

I followed him to Friday. I watched him wear my shame on a cross. I watched him love me. I watched him suffer for me. I watched him bear the full penalty of my sin: separation from the Father. I heard him cry out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But, I know now that it was because he asked this question that he can say to me, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

For only a moment, we sat in Saturday. And then, he took my hand and he led me to Sunday. He led me to a an empty tomb. At first, I fall to my knees and clutch the  burial cloths of my Lord. But I rise when I remember the words of the angel to the women who came before me, “Fear not, for I know you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For he has risen just as he said.”

I dance out of the tomb singing and shouting with boldness and authority, for the same power that raised Christ from the dead is alive in me.

This Holy Week, don’t forget about the beauty and shame of Thursday, or the ugliness of Friday. Rather, let their wretchedness bring you to the the desperation and anticipation of Saturday that is ultimately and completely satisfied by the power of Sunday.

empty-tomb

That One Time I Got a B

Right now I am going through a difficult time emotionally, mentally and physically  and today has been especially tough. Sometimes I feel like my prayers are just hitting the ceiling, and sometimes I feel like the things I am praying for are too small to really be caring about. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t even be bothering God with small stupid things like my deepest and truest feelings until I realize that they really are my deepest and truest feelings and that maybe they do matter at least a little bit. So, today as I started stuffing them back inside before I could bother God with them, he reminded me of That One Time I Got a B.

When I was in sixth grade I took pre algebra at Dodgen Middle School, which in case you were wondering was basically Sheol. I actually cried at my desk every single day for that fifty minutes and usually an hour before school when I went to my teacher for help. My poor father put in more than a few hours trying to explain that “x” can be a number which I obviously didn’t understand because for 11 years of my life it had only ever been a letter. WHO CAME UP WITH THAT WITCHCRAFT ANYWAY? ALSO WHO USES Z AS A VARIABLE WHEN THE NUMBER 2 IS IN THE SAME EQUATION THAT IS SO EVIL.

Annnnyyyyway…. this class marked the first time in my life that I had ever failed a test, which was a big deal for 11 year old perfectionist Abigail. At this point in my life, getting a B in pre-algebra was one of the biggest issues in my life. In hindsight, getting a C wouldn’t have been the end of the world. Not even close. But it mattered to me so much, and I prayed about it every single day. I worked my booty off to bring my grade up. When it came time for report cards to come out, my mother went to the school to pick mine up and I made her promise to call me at the house as soon as she got it. With bated breath I waited in anticipation as she read off my grades one by one.

“History…87. English….. 94 . Science….92. Chorus…. 100.”

There was another long pause and than she took in a deep breath and said,

“Math…. 80.”

I don’t think I could even say anything back to her. I fell to my knees in the middle of the living room and started weeping. All I could do was thank God over and over because I knew it was only because of him that I pulled a B in that class. In the stillness of that moment I could feel him say, “I love you and I have never forgotten you.” I have never forgotten that moment.

Getting a B in that class was seriously so inconsequential and small in the grand scheme of things, but God honored me for earnestly seeking him (Hebrews 11:6). He loves me so much and he loves you just the same. I guess I am just in wonder of how great God is that he would care about me as an individual. For me, it is easy to believe that Jesus died on the cross for all of humanity, but sometimes I struggle to remember that the veil was torn so that the Holy Spirit can commune with me in my spirit. This great, powerful, excellent three-person God loves me fiercely as an individual. I don’t deserve it, but I will take it.

Remember, friends, the simple truth that the God of the entire universe is also the God of That One Time I Got a B.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you” Isaiah 49:15