Fear, Faith & Love – Day 19
When I think of the seasons of the church year, I tend to think of Advent as a time of looking and waiting for God. Lent, in addition to being about remembering God’s great love for us and God’s willingness to forgive us, seems to be more of a time of God waiting for us to return to the Presence.
It has been said that there is no pain greater than the loss of a child. God understands that loss in the sacrifice of Christ the Son. And Christ experienced all the human emotions of disappointment, misunderstanding, loss, rejection, and betrayal by those closest to him. So when God offers us strength for the race, it is not as some great distant wizard who magically makes the hurt and pain and disappointment disappear. God offers us empathy and strength to endure in spite of hurt and pain and disappointment. God understands that these experiences shape who we are and who we will become, and far from asking us to forget, God merely offers us love, forgiveness, and healing so that we might continue the race.
Sometimes we get in God’s way by refusing to accept that forgiveness and love, and instead we hold on to the past. Human beings will disappoint and hurt us in our life, we will face tragedy and loss, and sometimes we will disappoint ourselves by our actions. Continued hurt and/or bitterness about past loss, disappointments, and hurtful acts inflicted by and upon us, will paralyze us from receiving the strength that God provides us to “press on toward the mark of the high calling of Christ.”
God waits patiently for our return. Will we allow the Great Healer to triage our hurts so that we can continue the race, or will we choose to remain on the sidelines, wallowing in the pain of the past or present?