Excuse Me, I Didn't Sign Up for This

10:59 AMHeather

It may feel like a Friday to you. The skies are growing dark, hope is dying, and your world feels shaky. Things are NOT as you expected.

Sunday's coming.

It may feel like this is the farthest thing from your expectations. Sunshine and roses and ease and comfort and everything just as you had planned. That is what you signed up for. The happily ever after. Married and kids and good times. Hallmark moments. 



But instead, it's struggles and frustrations. Battles financially, relationally, and spiritually. A career that is not like you expected. Hard bosses and co-workers. Hard jobs that drag you out of bed, with nothing to look forward to. No Cinderella and Prince Charming--no marital paradise. Just dishes and laundry and busy calendars and fatigue. My gosh. The fatigue. Just tired. All. The. Time. Living on empty, continually looking around the bend for the next thing that will make it all better. 

And parenting. In between the social media moments are struggles that no one sees. Battles for your kids or even against them. Battles against all the dangers out there and all the fears that plague you. Battles against health issues and mental health issues. Things uncomfortable to talk about. Because when people ask about your child, they surely don't want to hear about the new meds or counselor or treatment that you are hoping will bring some relief for the whole family. People want to hear about sports achievements and academic success. Not depression and bipolar diagnoses and the angst of watching for any sign of self-harm. So you carry the burden--day after day after day. 

And from time to time, you collapse under the weight of it.

Like a Friday so long ago.

When Jesus fell to the ground-- his cross too heavy to bear alone.

Just like you.

The cross you bear is too heavy to handle alone.

But where is your Simon of Cyrene who can be called from the crowds and forced to carry your cross for you?

Oh, yes. It's Friday.

And life is nothing as you'd pictured. Those you thought you could count on have left you feeling abandoned. The ideals of a circle of love and support, no matter what. It feels like a cruel pipe dream now. 

Because nobody has your back.

It's Friday.

You've endured the torment of emotional scars -- or even the pain of physical abuse. You've become a victim. A statistic. And this is a far cry from how you pictured your life.

It's Friday.

You feel alone. Battered. Bruised. Abandoned. Beaten down. Disenchanted.  A cynicism has taken root and is slowly choking out hope.

It's Friday.

But Sunday is coming. Sunday is on the way. And all that the enemy has stolen, killed and destroyed in your life -- it's going to be redeemed. All that has victimized you will be turned into eternal victory. The cross that you bear will be taken from you. And a Savior will carry it for you. All your broken dreams and shattered hopes will be made whole. Forever. All the tears you've cried will be dried up, with no need to ever spill from your eyes again.

Sunday is coming.

And just as Jesus came back to life, all that has become dead within you can be breathed back to life.

Oh, yes. Sunday is coming.

The dark and damp and dying places will become brighter than the sun. The hopeless situations will turn on a dime.

Because of Sunday.

When you go to visit that which you've had to bury, you will be astounded. Because heaven will break through the darkest, hardest, worst places and struggles that we face. Heaven will break through the disillusioned hearts and the downcast souls.

And the angels will sing the song of hope resurrected--"Do not be alarmed! He has risen!"

Sunday will come.

Because a tomb was emptied so that we might be made full. There were prophecies of a gruesome death and an ultimate sacrifice from a Savior whom people imagined would be a mighty warrior. It didn't turn out as they pictured. It wasn't what they thought. If Christ was the Chosen One, then how could he be bound and flogged and sentenced to death? If Christ was the hope that they'd clung to for generations--then how could it end up like this? Because on that hill called Golgatha, their last hope died just as Jesus did.

This isn't what they signed up. This is nothing like they'd expected.

Their whole world went dark.

The notorious Friday. Nothing good about it.

If that is where you are--then hold on.

Just hold on.

Because there's a bigger plan. There's a broader picture. There's a Sunday coming.

When the biggest thing that weighs you down and holds you back will be rolled away. When the hope that has died within you will be breathed back to life. When the darkest, dankest stenches of defeat will be transformed into glorious, radiant light.

Oh, death has lost its sting.

Sin has lost its hold.

Condemnation has been silenced.

And the enemy himself has been defeated.

Because Sunday came. And the tomb was emptied as surely as God will empty the power of anything that comes against you. The burial clothes that bound him were loosed so that we too can find such freedom. And no matter how defeated, broken, bruised or battered we feel on Friday, God says just wait.

Just wait.

Sunday is on its way.

And we are made sons and daughters of the Most High God. We can throw all our sorrows at his feet. We can cast all our cares on him. We can settle into his righteous right hand and ask for eyes to see how he's moving. We can ask for him to help our unbelief. For ears to hear the songs he sings over us.

Because his freedom song is forever.

His love song cost him the highest price.

His victory song is eternal.

Can't you hear the beginning notes in the air?

Life may feel like a dirge right now.

But come Sunday, a triumphant song shall burst forth. And all of creation will join in. Then, the glorious refrains of hope and wholeness and life never ending will play on an eternal loop.

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