Good Friday, Is it Really Good?

In less than a week, another year of my life will have been spent…gone forever, never again to relive. Re-do’s are just impossible with time.

The older I get the closer to dependency I become, and that frightens me.

As a caregiver, I work with elderly seniors, and their level of dependency varies greatly. I love caring for them. I think of my mom and my grandmother, who have passed. I think of the quality of care I would want for them, the kind of care I hope they received.

In some ways I wonder if I’m trying to make up for all the times I was not there for my mom. As I care for these dear ones, I think of myself and the kind of care I hope I will receive one day. I have faith that if I show great patience, kindness, and compassion I will in return receive the same when my time has come.

I realize I have lived longer than the years I have yet to live. In the span of ten years the quality of my life could drastically change. At my age, ten years seem but a whisper upon the wind. It’ll come and go quickly.

The older I get the more I think about dying.

I think of my mom in the last days of her life. I think about sitting by her bedside, holding her hand, and wondering if she were aware of my presence. I desperately wanted to be there when she took her last breath, but I wasn’t. For that I do great guilt. Don’t we all hope when it’s our time to go we will be surrounded by those we love? My heart breaks when I think of her dying alone.

I wonder if one day I too will die alone.

Today is Good Friday, and once again I find myself thinking of death. I read about Jesus’ death on the cross. I think of his last hours…his thirst, his pain, and the blood streaming down his body. I think of him when his Father turned his back, and in great despair Jesus cried out, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me!” In that moment Jesus, as man, was utterly alone. He experienced the total blackness of loneliness…the nothingness…an utter void of everything and everyone.

This is bad, but also it is good.

Reading this scripture I hear Jesus whisper within my heart, “Lisa, your mom was never alone…I was there, just as I’ll be there for you. I died alone so you wouldn’t have to.”

Today, His forever presence is what I will choose to dwell upon.

Good Friday truly is good.

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It’s Not a Dirty Little Secret

“Now my soul is troubled and distressed, and what shall I say? (Jesus)

Jesus was afraid. How can this be? Jesus, God incarnate, the creator of all universes, was afraid to die.

Do you ever think about dying? It’s not a pleasant thought. There are so many unknowns about this fate that we all must one day face. Even those with the faith of a mustard seed, a faith powerful enough to move mountains, find themselves troubled at the thought.

Those of the greatest faith, if they would admit it, are afraid to die, and they lie if they proclaim different. It doesn’t matter how many abbreviations follow the name no one will ever have as much faith as Jesus had when he walked this Earth. If Jesus feared how much more will we?

In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed to his Father to remove his cup of death. He prayed with such earnest his pores dripped with blood. He did not want to drink from its chalice.

Personally, I am comforted by my Lord’s fear. His hesitation to taste death assures me it’s okay to doubt. Doubt is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s not a dirty little secret that we should hide. If it were, a dirty little secret, God would never have revealed Jesus’ inner struggle. That part of Christ’s story would have been omitted from recorded history. It is written so that our faith would be strengthened rather than shaken.

Jesus was human just as we. He knows how we feel because he himself has experienced it. He wants us to bring our doubts, troubles, and concerns to the Father; after-all, that is what he did. We are called to follow his example.

This week, as we walk through the last days before good Friday, may our souls be troubled.

Embrace your doubt because it leads to great Faith.

How Majestic is Your Name

Psalms 8

In song…

O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?

 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,

 All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,

 The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.

 O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

My Prayer:  

Oh Lord, my Lord…lover of my soul!  How truly majestic is your name!  Who am I, Lord, that you should consider?  And yet you love me!  You loved me so much, you gave your only begotten son to die in my stead.  I humbled before you, oh my Lord.  “Thank you”… just doesn’t seem enough, but what else can I say…there are no words…  Oh lover of my soul, I praise your name.  Oh Lord, my Lord, how excellent is your name.  Selah.

(A publication in the “Walk Through Psalms” series)