God is right where He needs to be in your life. Today.

God is right where He needs to be in your life. Today.

morning3Easter Sunday is the single most important reminder that God is exactly where needs to be in your life.

When life is good, when trials come, when your loved ones are suffering or walk through death’s door-God is right where He needs to be.

God was there for you yesterday. He is there for you today. He will be there for you tomorrow.

It doesn’t always feel like that, does it? Sometimes we feel hopelessly abandoned.

My wife Gail, the mother of our six children, recently underwent spinal surgery to remove a tumor that was compressing her spinal cord. This is the second time in six years that she has had this specific surgery.

Following her first surgery in 2006 her recovery was amazing. Within a week she was walking up the stairs of our home.

Gail’s recovery for the most recent surgery has been very different. After spending a few days in ICU at York Hospital she has moved to a long-term rehabilitation hospital. To date she has very little awareness of her left leg which has rendered the most simple tasks like walking or sitting very difficult and likely impossible without rehab.

It is so easy in these moments to feel hopelessly abandoned by God.

I bet Mary Magdalene felt the same way the morning she showed up at the tomb of Jesus some 2000 years ago.

Mary Magdalene was a tormented woman whom Jesus had healed. She owed her very life to him. Mary loved Jesus. He was everything to her!

And now Mary finds herself on a Sunday morning devastated, walking drearily to a tomb early in the dark of the morning. She had to be wondering where God was on Friday as Jesus was tortured on a Roman cross.

You know the feeling. You’ve been where Mary has been.

Something in your life has gone horribly awry and you’re wondering “Where is God at the very moment that I need Him?”

The love of your life wants to leave you. Your marriage is in shambles. News just arrived that you’ve been laid off from your job and your second baby is due next week. The bank is foreclosing on your home. You can’t raise your left leg that feels like a dead stump because you’re too busy weeping. The doctors say that your dad has six months to live.

These situations leave us asking “Why me?” but even worse “Where are you God in the moment that I need you most?”

Your God knows your struggles more than you can imagine. Easter Sunday is a great reminder of that.

The bright explosive news of Easter Sunday is not so bright until it is contrasted with the darkness of Jesus suspended by rough spikes on Dark Friday.

Easter Sunday is not so glorious until you contrast it with the shame the Son of God faced as he was mocked as a weakling king hanging naked from a cross.

Easter Sunday is not so triumphant until you hear the agonizing scream of despair from Jesus’ mouth as he cries out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

So many people are saying today that they can’t believe in God because He didn’t prevent some awful thing from happening. He wasn’t there. He was silent.

But just as surely as evil blares its harsh reality through life’s megaphone, there is one thing God is definitely NOT saying to us: “I wasn’t there. I don’t know what its like to feel utterly alone and helpless.”

Jesus says: “I know what it feels like to drown in darkness. I know the shame of being mocked, of watching disappointed friends look at you like a failure. I know what it feels like to be utterly alone, forsaken and hopeless.”

Jesus never lectured Mary Magdalene for her groaning, her struggle to believe or her despair. Instead he spoke to her tenderly outside the tomb: “Mary” as she broke down with the reality of his presence.

I can say for certain that both Gail and I have felt that same tender presence in the midst of the tears of this current struggle

If Good Friday reminds us that God feels our pain then Easter Sunday reminds us that Jesus also knows what it feels like to triumph.

Jesus wasn’t rehabilitated from the dead. He wasn’t resuscitated by the cool of tomb. His heart stopped. His brain activity ceased. He died.

And when breath spilled back into his lungs and his heart began to thump something cosmic happened: God’s new creation of life and hope broke into this world of death and despair. The power and sting of death died when Jesus emerged from the gloomy tomb. On that Day, God’s life was released into a world where evil and decay reigned, where dead legs hang limp.

Christ has died. Christ is risen.

Jesus was exactly where He needed to be for Mary Magdalene that first Easter Sunday. He is right where he needs to be at this moment for our family. Not in a tomb. Jesus has risen and ascended to the right hand of the Father, right where He needs to be for us.

Easter Sunday reminds us that God has handed the authority of this world over into the hands of a loving, compassionate Redeemer who is present to heal and help us.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.





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