Day 5 I Monday April 15, 2019
One of my favorite television shows growing up was Quantum Leap. In this show, the main character found himself hopping through time, ending up in various scenarios where he was given the opportunity to alter history. Obviously, in each episode he was met with disaster initially, only to see the “good guy wins in the end” outcome. One common theme in each of these episodes was how the person he was sent to help, never knew what they were about to face. Last year when my mother suffered her stroke, she shared with us in the hospital how she had told my sister during the day that she would have a stroke that night. Two varying situations with different preceding moments. They make me pause and ask this question, “If I knew what the next 48 hours held in my life, would it alter the way I moved forward?”.
As Jesus began this day, approximately 48 hours away from his arrest, trial, and eventual crucifixion, what thoughts do you think went through His head? We know that He struggled with this moment because of His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:42-44 NIV) The nation of Israel had waited for a Messiah to come and restore them to their rightful and expected place. For Jesus, this was the moment that had been building up in His life since the day He took His first breath in Bethlehem. However, knowing what was coming did not minimize the anxiety of going through it. He knew the pain that would come but He also know the reward that would come as a result of the pain.
When you face times in your life that you know are going to bring you pain, do you focus more on the cause of the pain or the result of the pain? It is hard to lean on the words found in James when he writes, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4 NIV) Our tendency is to avoid pain even if we know it will result in our benefit. Jesus was willing to endure the cross because He understood the reward that would follow.
Ask yourself, “Do you trust the Lord’s will for your life?”. It is an easy and immediate answer…now. The real test is when we find ourselves in the middle of trauma, do we trust Him still? Jesus KNEW what the next 48 hours held, and He still embraced it because He knew the reward was greater than the pain. I pray that I have the same ability to endure.