WERE YOU THERE - REFLECTION

 

Have you ever had someone ask you a question about something you didn’t have figured out yet, and feel the pressure to have a perfect answer to give them to save face and appear put together? 

“So, where you are going to school?” 

“Do you have a job after you graduate yet?”

“Dating anyone?”

“Do I hear wedding bells?

“When’s that first baby coming?”

“You’re going to give that baby a sibling, aren’t you?”

“Are you happy at your job? Ever consider a career change?”

The list goes on and on. 

My temptation is to have this blog post wrapped up perfectly in a pretty pink bow. To present to you something that is polished and filtered. To give you the perfect answer. But when I sat down to pray about what to write, I guess I realized that would be a lie. And frankly, our lives are too short to be anything but honest. 

I'd like to share with you a piece of my heart today. A small look into my life and the things God is doing. Spoiler alert: it's not perfectly wrapped in a pretty pink bow. 

This week is Good Friday. And on Good Friday we commemorate the most horrific event in the history of mankind. We remember the day that Jesus gave everything, His very life, for you and for me. I can't help but think that many of Jesus’ followers felt a little duped. Or a lot duped. Here they are, people who left EVERYTHING to follow Him, and on Good Friday....He dies. He leaves them. It's over. It appears that all is lost. 

To be honest, I know that feeling of being duped quite well. During this time of my own life, when things haven't exactly worked out the way I would have thought, I am reminded that I am not the only one. Let's look back at salvation history. Let's look back at God's people. The Israelites were in slavery in Egypt and cried out to God to be saved. And He, indeed, saves them. Then, they find themselves free but in the desert, and they start to doubt the Lord. They start digging up in doubt what was planted in faith. That, my friends, is dangerous business. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that God's way often looks different from our way. God's path is almost certainly not the one we would choose. Which is why, in our short-sightedness, we must trust more in the darkness than we do when we can see things clearly in the light. The "Good Friday" moments in our lives- the times of confusion, sorrow, and even despair - are in fact, opportunities for us to show God our faithfulness and our trust.

The verse we at The Vigil Project have been praying through this Lenten season is from Psalm 51, "Restore in me the joy of your salvation." 

The word “restore” insinuates that there was once something (in this case, joy), it has somehow been lost, and will be returned. 

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In full disclosure, we (The Vigil Project)  have been going through our own growing pains, too. And again, I can't over express how tempting it is to portray that our ministry is going perfectly as planned. Of COURSE that's what we want people to think, in our humanness. But the truth is that we as individuals and we as a group, are in desperate need of our joy being restored. 

At one point not long ago, I think I would have hidden from that reality, but you know what I've come to realize? That no one has everything figured out. That imperfection is a common denominator of humanity, and that God can actually do more in our weakness than He can in our strength. My friends, the feeling of being duped doesn’t mean we actually have been duped. It just means that things have taken an unexpected route, and we don’t yet sense the beautiful ending. We don’t yet see the part where the joy is restored. And that part is coming. In His time and in His way.

“Were You There” is almost certainly the most popular Lenten hymn out there. The lyrics give me chills when I really give them a look. As you sing this song this week and as we approach these three days of waiting on the Lord, I want to invite you to consider: Where in your life do you feel helpless and duped? Where in your life do you need restoration? What are you digging up in doubt which was planted in faith? And are you willing to let God do it His way?

Written by Andrea