So, about this saying yes to God thing. It’s been my motto for some time now. It’s what I tell people in my speeches. It’s what I tell readers, subtly, in my books. It’s what I tell fellow moms on the phone. It always works out. It leads to blessings and good fruits. It has always made sense to me.
I have had very low times in my life, yes, and I have my share of regrets. Believe me, I do. But never have I regretted saying yes to God. And so I remind myself of that in the times when saying yes doesn’t seem to immediately pay off. In the times when it doesn’t appear to pan out in the cost-benefit analysis. At least not in the short run. The truth of the matter is, sometimes when you say yes to God, life still hammers you. And good. Especially if you are a mom.
But why? Why should it be that way? Why should God let life hammer his faithful ones?
Lent is coming. I am bracing myself. I have heard friends, in years past, talk about how they always get tried extra hard during Lent. Things happen. Emotions run wild. People get hurt. Love grows cold. Prayer runs dry. The enemy is at work, clearly. He’s got his wrench, and he will throw it in – just when the machinery is running smoothest sometimes. The forty days in the desert is a real place and it happens in real time. If we are Christ’s, we can expect nothing less. He did the Father’s will. And he suffered.
As a dear friend of mine said to me the other day regarding motherhood: “It often occurs to me how very Calvary it all is. The suffering, with onlookers, and the fight to the end for Jesus, for life, for our family. The sin, the dying because of sin, the loneliness bleeding with love and hope.”
Then, Easter comes, and the sunshine in the garden should make it all clear. The “gardener” stands before us outside the empty tomb. And yet, we don’t recognize him. We are still blinded by our grief, so we don’t see his real identity through our tears. Not until he calls our name.
That same friend I mentioned earlier recommended last week that I pick up and read a book titled God Calling (Barbour and Company). We used to read it together when we were roommates. I was “too busy” that day, but in trying to figure out an ending to this post just now, I went and got it. Its pages are yellowed and falling from the binding, but I randomly opened it, and the first thing my eyes fell on was the passage called “Risen Life.” And whom do you imagine is quoted in this passage? “They have taken away My Lord and I know not where they have laid Him.” Mary Magdalene speaks the words we feel so often. Where are you, Jesus? I see the gardener, but where are you?
Then, the book offers this advice: “Rise from your fear and go out into the sunlight to meet Me, your Risen Lord. Each day will have much in it that you will meet either in the spirit of the tomb, or in the spirit of the Resurrection. Deliberately choose the one and reject the other.”
May God lead us all safely through the desert this Lent, into the light of the Risen Lord. And may we recognize him in all his glory, as we make a deliberate choice for the resurrection.
Copyright 2015, Sherry Boas
Image: From God’s Easter Gifts (Caritas Press) © Renáta Sedmáková – Fotolia.com