I remember as a teenager being given a devotional book entitled, “If God loves me, why can’t I get my locker open?” The gist of the book was to help teens navigate their life in Christ in the midst of everyday challenges. What do you do when you are facing a big biology test? How do you know Jesus is there when you don’t make the team? Why are some kids determined to give me a hard time? Today, kids face greater challenges in our schools, of course, but those everyday questions remain.
As adults, the questions change context but are no less prevalent. Why am I always getting passed over for that promotion? How come I can’t seem to shake this virus? Why am I the butt of office jokes just because I’m trying to grow in my faith?
We may have thought that just because we decided to follow Jesus that things would get better. After all, the other folks at church seem to have everything together, and the guy on television said that God wanted to bless me if I’d only let Him. Yet here I am, still facing hardships, still feeling unsure of myself, still a mess. Nothing feels different. Am I doing something wrong?
Following the resurrection, things certainly were different! Jesus removed Thomas’ doubts, restored Peter to his position, and gave a new commission to His followers! He even sent the Holy Spirit to empower them! But life still faced them. They still endured hardships. They faced challenges. Most of them even gave their lives for the cause of Jesus.
The miracle of the resurrection is not that it makes life new and better and always pleasant. The miracle of the resurrection is that the power of Christ makes US new. The best way to face the challenges of life is to keep our eyes on Him. We do this by spending time with Him, sharing our joys, pains, questions, and doubts with Him. And we grow as we join with others on the same journey.
As we move out of the Easter holiday, may we continue to believe that life is new. May we continue to seek the presence of the resurrected King. May we find a joy, hope, and peace that sustains us as we face the challenges of life and learn to walk in the power of Christ that makes us more than conquerors, even if we “can’t get our locker open”.
– Pastor Evan