These were my famous last words right before halftime during the recent Super Bowl. I’m a Denver Broncos fan and we were thoroughly and repeatedly thrashed during this game. Six days later, I’m still looking for some kind of silver lining from this game, but I’ve yet to find any redeeming value, other than being humbled (possibly humiliated depending on your point of view).
I’ve also been reading about Jesus’ arrest, scourging, crucifixion and death over the last few days. Maybe His disciples said the same thing, “it can’t get any worse”, when Jesus was betrayed by Judas in Gethsemane. Perhaps they thought the worst was over when Jesus was brought before Pilate. And when Jesus died on the cross, maybe they gave up all hope and felt entirely abandoned, betrayed, demoralized and forsaken. If you’re in a very bleak situation, remember that Jesus defied all natural convetions and rose from the dead. With God, nothing is impossible, including the Broncos ,)
As a quick reminder, Jesus told a parable once about a fig tree that hadn’t produced fruit for 2 years. The owner of the orchard wanted to chop down the tree but the gardener asked the owner to give him 1 more year to do some intense work to get this tree to be fruitful. Part of the gardeners plan was to throw lots of fertilizer (also known as crap) around the roots of the tree.
In my mind, none of like fertilizer or crap. It’s smelly, gross, repulsive & thoroughly distasteful. Nevertheless, what is most repulsive to us can have the highest powerful of redemption in the right hands. In God’s hand, fertilizer is the stuff of resurrection. So perhaps there is such a thing as holy crap ,)
Easter is a GREAT day & I love it for lots of reasons:
- it reminds me that Spring is imminent
- it always makes me appreciate what it means to have a fresh beginning
- it’s a day that infuses HOPE into any dark spots in my life
- it reminds me that literally NOTHING is impossible
- it is the ULTIMATE victory – rolling into one giant success March Madness, World Cup Soccer, the Superbowl, World Cup Rugby, the World Series and even more, making me aware that my team wins for time unstoppable
- it is a tangible expression of the power of genuine love
- personal resurrection – no situation in my life is exempt from the resurrection power of God
These are a few reasons why I love Easter! In what ways is Easter meaningful to you???
I had an interesting experience in a conversation with a friend a few days ago as we were talking about various challenges in our lives. In the discussion, I opened up and shared some frustrations & struggles that have been on my heart, which may seem fairly harmless. After the conversation as I was walking to my car, I felt a bit of a gentle scolding in my heart from God. Some of His loving rebuke challenged me that sometimes I can be whiney: complaining about what isn’t going well, “venting” with my frustrations, etc. Even worse, I can get into a pity party & swallow the lie that I’m a loser. I think we can all fall into this trap from time to time.
I’m extremely confident that God was confronting & challenging me to change in His loving rebuke because the next morning, my Bible reading time just happened to be in Josh 1, where God commands Joshua 3 times to be strong & courageous. Furthermore, I also read Ps 103:1-5 where David beautifully magnifies the work of God in our individual lives.
So here are my take-aways (and perhaps they will encourage you as well):
- just because the evil one serves me a plate of discouragement doesn’t mean that I automatically pick up a fork & start ingesting his poisonous delicacies masquerading as a chummy conversation;
- be strong & courageous: may my ears & eyes be sensitive to hear & see God moving in my life (vertical focus) more than how I feel or what I see & hear on the horizontal plane;
- Be strong & courageous is a command from God & it obliterates my self-pity dribble
Perhaps on this Resurrection Weekend it would be constructive to celebrate the death of the “loser lie”. Indeed, when they crucified Jesus, many thought He was one of the world’s biggest losers, but He came back & annhilated the “loser lie.” So my friend, let me invite you to join me in receiving His lluminating imperative to be strong & courageous to evaporate any discouragement, deceptions & lies in our lives 🙂