Happy Easter, Brothers and Sisters! He is risen! Alleluia!
As we rejoice over our redemption in Christ, and cling to the hope, and the truth, that we will one day join Him in glory, I offer another excerpt from Glimmers of Grace, for encouragement in wearying times.
Medicine leaves its scars. It may usher us toward recovery from a catastrophe, but like Jacob whose wrestle with God earned him a perpetual limp (Gen. 32:31), we leave the ordeal changed, the old hurts lingering. Sometimes, the scars twist and contort our flesh, declaring our trials to all. In other cases, they lurk deep within ourselves, hidden from the world, like a silent cancer gnawing from within.
God’s love, so evident in the successes, also persists through these hard moments, even if we can’t discern how. The gospel doesn’t guarantee us an easy life, free from pain. Jesus warns precisely the opposite, cautioning that we cannot follow him unless we deny ourselves and take up our cross (Matt. 16:24–25). “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20), he counsels his disciples. Jesus told numerous parables to illustrate his teachings, but in none of them did he compare Christian discipleship to a stroll along a garden path. He doesn’t promise us ease.
He does, however, offer us hope to endure. Through the cross, he grants us assurance of God’s love, a promise that outlasts our most miserable sufferings.
Dear friend in Christ, when the pain sears through your limbs or clutches your heart, cling to that promise. Harbor God’s word in your heart, so that when the blades of illness and death assail you, you can call upon the truth to cover you as an impenetrable shield (Eph. 6:16–17). We cannot explain away the tragedies that befall us or assuage them with our own meager words, but God’s word, eternal, issuing forth in love, cures all ills. He gives us medicine as a means of grace, an extension of his love for mankind. But true healing, and true rest, that light yoke, comes only from him.