John 20: 1-9
He is risen! Alleluia! Happy Easter, everyone!
A few years ago, I had a very good friend share a quick story with me one time that still resonates with me today, and it’s one that I continue to go back to over and over again. My friend had been praying to experience God’s power and glory in a tangible way in her life. She wanted to see signs and wonders that would undeniably reveal God working in her and through her. One day, while attending a conference, she had the opportunity to pray with a woman who was known to have many spiritual gifts. This was her chance! What would God do? What would he reveal? While praying together, the woman, in broken English, yet very clear words, told my friend: “You want the Fourth of July, but God wants to give you Easter morning.” My friend knew exactly what the Lord was telling her.
The Fourth of July is filled with lights, sounds, and smells…a day filled with sensory experiences…yet it comes and goes quickly. Contrast that with Easter morning. The resurrection on Easter morning happened in secret, and it was revealed slowly over time. Why was the greatest moment in all of human history hidden from human eyes? Why was that moment not big, loud, and flashy for all the world to see? Why did Jesus choose to reveal the glory of His resurrection slowly? Maybe…just maybe…this is the way of things.
I really believe that our hearts, minds, and bodies are not attuned to real power and real glory. We have been conditioned to want God to work like Google. We want an immediate answer, immediate healing, immediate freedom, and immediate peace. We often aren’t willing to cooperate with the process of God’s powerful work in our lives. Where did we get the idea that loudness is more powerful than the quiet, that being fast is more glorious than what happens slowly, or that being seen and heard has more impact on the world than being hidden?
Several years ago, I went with a group of guys to the Grand Canyon. I really wasn’t prepared for what I would see. I had seen it in photos and captured in movies a million times, but when I saw it in person, I was absolutely awestruck. Consider for a moment the processes that created the canyon: It took millions of years for the Colorado River to cut through the rock - inch by inch, and year by year. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t flashy, but look at the end result. We are moved to awe and wonder.
Here’s the deal: God wants to do deep work for you, in you, and through you. Deep healing, deep freedom, and deep intimacy with God isn’t usually forged in a solitary moment accompanied by signs and wonders. Could he do it that way? Yes. Has he done it this way? Yes. Is this always the best way? Only God knows. What we do know is that God is constantly laboring for us. Just like the waters of the Colorado River, God’s persistent movement in your life cuts and reshapes you, and smooths your rough edges to make you the man or woman he has created you to be. God wants to heal you, he wants you to share in His resurrected life, and he wants you to experience his power and glory in a real, tangible, and undeniable way. There is no doubt about this. However, it takes radical trust to surrender to the way He wants to do this in your life. Our task is to surrender to God’s work and not to resist it, to open our hands and hour hearts to Him and resist the temptation to grasp for what, perhaps, isn’t ours…yet.
Maybe there are moments in your life when God feels distant. Perhaps even today, on Easter morning, the resurrection of Christ feels far away from you. Maybe your life doesn’t look very glorious. Take heart in the fact that God is working in you right now. If you are open to Him today, the river of grace made available to you by Christ’s resurrection will flow over your dry bones and bring you new life. There is glory and power in His slow, hidden, and quiet work in you.
On behalf of our entire team, we wish you and your family a GLORIOUS Easter Sunday!
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