everything is different

Today at church we did the Paschal greeting.  Pastor Mike greeted his new congregation with a “Christ is Risen,” and we responded with a lively “Christ is Risen, indeed!”  It’s pretty much head knowledge for many of us that have been in the church for a while, but it was just refreshing to just verbalize what we know and believe.   But what my new pastor said to close our greeting was what caught my attention the most: “Christ is risen, and everything is different because He is risen.”

How often do we forget.  In the middle of all our trials and trouble we forget.  The guys in the bible have trouble with this all the time.  Peter almost drowns because he takes his eyes off of Jesus.   The risen Jesus walks 7 miles with the disciples and they don’t even recognize Him.  But for us it’s a little different:  We live in the post resurrection.  We already know and believe that this guy named Jesus who was the son of God died and rose again in 3 days because “the cross can’t even handle him right now.”   We forget that He lives, He lives, He lives!  and that not only does He live but He also lives within us, and walks and talks with us.

For me, these past couple of months have been some of the most trying months of my life.  I know and I tell myself that things could be worse, but it’s just so discouraging when all my plans have been shattered and my family just can’t seem to get a break.

But I find encouragement today in the word of Jesus.   He never promised that things would be easy.  In fact, He literally promises us that things are gonna get really bad.   But this is the perfect place to be.  In this world I will have trouble, but He has already overcome.

I’m starting to learn that maybe the point of all this conflict is to ultimately draw us closer to what we really need.  Maybe God really does throw things at us to get us to a point where we can really say that He is everything we need.  Maybe God is not an unjust God, but a jealous God.  Maybe God is not an unfair God, but a brilliant storyteller who knows how to use the lows to accentuate the highs.

Today I stand refreshed, renewed — not because of what I’ve done or not even because today was Easter, but because of what He has already done.   What I promise and what I say will always fall short but it does not change the fact that He is mighty to save.  I want to live in this victory of resurrection.  I want to know that even the worst of circumstances do not change the character of God.

And in all my prayers- answered and unanswered – I want to see the bigger picture.  That He is already all I need and that it is more than enough.  That He is risen.

… and everything is different because He is risen.