Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Peace be with you!
As we sat there on edge with Cristina last Thursday during Grey’s Anatomy, Owen admits to having an affair because it is painful to love her. For a minute, we see a light as Owen professes his love for Cristina, though the light disappears quickly as he clarifies the pain he feels when loving her. The floor fell out from Cristina as the one thing she has been fretting about came reality: he has been sleeping with someone else. Part of us can sympathize with Owen, because Cristina had an abortion when he desperately wants to have children and be a family. Cristina also has challenged his authority as chief at the hospital when she did surgeries without his consent. We can sympathize with Owen, because we all know a Cristina who challenges our love on a regular basis.
The light shines through, and the truth – reality, the ugliness along with the beautiful – is revealed. Owen shines the light on his relationship with Cristina: loving her causes him pain. We are all Cristina’s in God’s eyes; we are difficult to love, because we go against his will on a daily basis; we even deny being in a relationship with God at times.
But God still sends a light into the world to be lifted up. The light reveals a loving God who will die on the cross for our sake. With the evil and the good, God enters the world as a human through Jesus Christ, his only begotten son. And the light gives us a choice to be in a relationship with God or to walk away from him. Do we accept the truth? Or do we deny it? Do you walk in the light? Or do you hide in the darkness?
OR do you live in the grey? Do you fight the confrontations daily? As Christians, we proudly profess our faith, go regularly to church, and pray with our whole hearts. We hold on to our faith tightly as we go through our day. But then a crisis happens and you are left with a mix of emotions. Again the light presents us with the choice: to allow God into our painful lives or to all the pain to take over. There is always a moment during a crisis when I want to melt down – to cry until the pain “goes away”. Where is God in all of this? A boy just shot brunch of his classmates at school. The rains washed away the crops. A little boy was born too soon and fights for his life. A husband chooses the bottle over his family. Where is God?
Then God taps me on my shoulder to remind me he is standing beside me. God became human to feel our pain, our emotions, and our confusion. He understands the battles we go through daily in the world where there is robberies, murders, misery, fights within families and among friends, wars, illness, depression, physical flaws, and so on. It is so easy to get lost in the negative the world presents us.
God is in the midst of it all – in the grey; he meets us in our pain and walks through us. God enters the world through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit…and through us. The light enters the world to confront the darkness for our sake. Jesus has felt our pain, our emotions, and our confusion, and he comes to offer a way to overcome the darkness. Jesus invites us to lay out all off our pain, our emotions, and our confusion, and he will provide the way. Jesus promises to walk beside us and to help us through any crisis that comes along. When we acknowledge God’s presence in our grey lives, we choose light over darkness – life over death.
Through his resurrection from the death, Jesus is exalted on high. And when we choose to be in a relationship with God, we are exalted through Jesus Christ who lifts us up with us on the cross and resurrects us each time we turn away from the darkness. Jesus presented us forgiveness of all of our sins, and when we accept his forgiveness we are exalted through his resurrection. What a glorious thing to be resurrected through Jesus. We are counted as God’s children!
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for coming into the world to experience our pain. Help us to walk besides you as we experience crisis. Remind us to look forward to your resurrection, even when we are suffering. Thank you for Jesus’ resurrection and exalting us with Jesus on high. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. How do you exalt Jesus Christ in your life?
2. How do you experience being exalted with Jesus?
3. How do you experience God’s love?