Enduring Your Fridays

9:01 AMHeather

I know a lot of people enduring their Fridays.  Dark, hopeless, painful times of suffering.  If you read here regularly, then you know this is a recurring theme--to address grief and suffering.  Yet, I cannot deny an urge to continue to address it.  

Because I've endured my own Fridays.  When I could hardly get out of bed.  Seasons of grief.  Seasons of loss.  A season of post partum depression.  Seasons of physical pain.  Seasons of relational pains.  Seasons of questions without answers.  Seasons where there was nothing but cloud cover, devoid of any sunshine or relief.

How can you endure?  When day after day, what has been lost or not yet come to fruition overwhelms any sense of gain or joy or hope.  It's miserable.  

All around you, you see happy faces and smiley people and it feels foreign.  It feels unreachable.  It might even feel offensive.  That others would dare to find happiness when you are so deep in a pit.

Fridays.  Seasons of pain.

Consider what tomorrow is on the calendar.  Good Friday.  What an oxymoron.  Good denotes something positive and worthwhile and enjoyable.  But that Friday, the hope of the disciples and those who had dared to believe in Jesus were dashed.  To smithereens.  The earth responded in kind.  As the ground shook and the day became as night.  Matching the emotions of those who had found a reason to believe--yet now, all seemed lost.  The rocks shook and the tombs broke open.  

The whole earth groaned, grieving that Friday that it was enduring.  Why?  What good could come from THIS? 

Yet, we know the rest of the story.  We know that the hope of an empty tomb could not come without the dark Friday that preceded it.  We know that the moment of resurrection that offers a joyful eternity simply had to come at the cost of the pain and the suffering and the loss.  

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.  You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.  A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.  So with you: now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
John 16:20-22

You may be trudging through a Friday, of weeping and mourning while the world seems to rejoice around you.  You grieve and endure an unbearable pain such as childbirth.

But, be encouraged, bloggy friend.  Because Sunday is on the way.  And it is never ending.  It is the reason to find joy.  It is the hope and the life line during your season of suffering. Because none of this around us will last.  It's all fleeting.  Yet an eternal God sent his only Son to make a way for those who believe.  And what's to come, as we are completed to perfection in the presence of our Savior, makes all questions fade away.  It erases all grieving and groaning. So many things in our lives here and now, from drastic circumstances to daily burdens, try to choke out the joy of the Lord.  

That we, as Ann Voskamp says, might become joy warriors.  Fighting for joy through the sacrifice of thanksgiving.  Rooting our hope in the salvation of the Lord.  In the unseen eternal.  The invisible forever that exceeds and outshines the deepest darkest pains of the temporal today.  That we might choose--or perhaps wrestle is a better word--moment by moment to turn our eyes to the Sunday to come rather than the Friday we endure.  

No, we don't understand these Fridays.  As I talked about yesterday.  So much of what God is up to is beyond our comprehension.  We simply cannot see the bigger picture, where all the puzzle pieces fit together beautifully.  Where our hard moments weave through our happy ones to create a complete and whole and eternal depiction of God's grace and love.

But, we don't have to understand.  In fact, we are not asked to understand how God works.  In John 16:18, as Jesus is preparing his disciples for his coming death, they hear him, but don't get it.  In fact, they literally say, "We don't understand what He is saying."

Yet, they followed.  They obeyed.  Because understanding God is not a prerequisite to obeying and following God.  Actually, I see here the exact definition of faith.  To choose to trust and follow beyond our understanding.  

To walk through our Fridays, grieving, mourning and weeping... and fix our eyes on the Jesus of Sunday.

He is the source of our joy.  The joy of the Lord shall be our strength.  But, we have to fight for it.  We have to fight to root ourselves in His Word, calling out in constant prayer, asking Him to be the lifter of our heads so that we can dare to believe in Sunday.

For every one of you living through a Friday, I pray this blog post offers you a hope.  Because no matter how dark and difficult this Friday is, there is a Sunday coming.  A new birth.  A new thing.  An eternal and unseen and invisible Sunday that will erase the anguish of the labor pains you are enduring.  

Carry on, joy warriors!  Carry on.

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