Jesus has overcome, and the grave is overwhelmed-
The victory’s been won-He is risen from the grave!
And I will RISE, when He calls my name! No more sorrow, no more shame…
I will rise, on eagle’s wings, before my God fall on my knees… AND RISE!
I was awake nearly every hour with Miss E on Monday night. Not sure what was going on-teeth perhaps… although there were several times that she was wide awake and happy. At 2:00 am. I was frustrated. Why can’t she just SLEEP?
Then at 10 minutes til 7 I got the message. A dear sister in Jesus was gone. She had died the night before. And while I was awake, rocking and frustrated, there’s a home with no mom to get up at night anymore. There were children and a husband who were beginning the awfulness of grief.
The message that said the name and “passed away” seemed impossibly wrong. A funeral? For her? My mind wasn’t and still isn’t able to wrap around it. You see, she was 47. She died from a blood clot she didn’t know she had.
Suddenly I knew what I know already but had forgotten. It was a gigantic, undeserved blessing that Miss E was awake. Because that meant she was alive. And that I was alive to rock her. What I had taken for granted and groaned about was a mercy.
I don’t know why God allows these things to happen. There are 3 children who need their mom. There is a husband and father who is now alone. And we, her sisters and friends are left with questions and tears .
We sorrow not as those who have no hope.
There is hope. And there is the ability of our good, good, Abba to bring something out of this that is good as well.
Because our God is a God of redemption.
Redemption: the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.
There is a reason there is bad stuff in this world. There is a reason for drugs, sin, death, disease, famine, and abuse. That reason is Satan.
But Jesus died. Jesus rose. Jesus conquered. Jesus lives. And because of this, we can be saved. Redeemed. Rescued. Oh no, don’t misunderstand me. We will experience the effects of sin while we are on earth. There is no escaping this. Because this is satan’s territory. And his goal is to surround us with so much Horrible Awful that we give up and blame God for it all.
But God is all goodness. And He often allows the unthinkable…
He allowed Perfect Goodness in the flesh to be crucified by sin-infested men.
His Son. His own. And what goodness in that?
Shockingly it was for me. Not just for all the other Christians who seem really good at being Christian. But for me. Imperfect, worthless me.
He said it was worth it to be tortured so that I could have the chance to live forever with Him. And so that a woman was 47 years old and loved Jesus and Kevin and three beautiful children and her friends and goats and chickens and parrots could have a homecoming Monday night like she has never before experienced. So that someday when it’s my time, He can call my name, and I will rise too.
That is a love story like no other.
He could have chosen to be the kind of god that never allows blessing to come from awful.
Have you ever thought of that? It was His choice. He didn’t have to be a patient God. He didn’t have to be Love. He didn’t have to make us. He didn’t have to care or let us be with Him forever. He could have been the kind of god that set everything in motion and let the chips fall where they may.
But a testimony to his goodness is this:
Without redemption, no plan of salvation.
Without redemption, no rising from the grave.
Without redemption, no sin erased by blood from veins of the Perfect One.
Without redemption, no light after darkness.
Without redemption, no adoption after infertility.
Without redemption, no healing from pain.
Without redemption, no forgiveness from anyone, God or people, for wrongs done.
Without redemption, no reconciliation, no I’m Sorries, no I Forgive You.
God decided to be the kind of God who wrote redemption into every story line.
Somehow he is going to redeem and extract good from this tragedy. I don’t know how. But when we sat beside a grieving man yesterday morning and we spoke of Jesus coming, he looked out the window at the sky and said:
“Yes… there are clouds, and maybe it will be today. The Bible says He will come in the clouds.”
I saw a prayer board at the kitchen sink’s windowsill of our dear friend. A list of those she prayed for. I was inspired to do the same. A little bit of redemption. A little bit of saving, of good coming from something that feels so wrong.
And we know He is God. He is good. His mercies never fail.