Friday, April 22, 2011

The goodness of Good Friday

Contemplating and deeply reflecting on the suffering, agony, and death of Christ; that is just where I need to be at this point in my life. No experiences of suffering, pain, agony, or death of mine can possibly match or surpass that of Christ. Moreover, his suffering, agony, and death had an intentional, intensely relational purpose. He did this for our sake, each and everyone's sake, so that we can be with him.

Jesus loves, loves, loves little children.


But Jesus loves all of us. He desires nothing more than for us to be with him.

This Good Friday, today, I hope that I focus on the goodness of Good Friday and I hope I don't lose sight of the truly important life matters, when feeling sadness, despair, loss of hope, pain, or suffering. Blessings to you this Good Friday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Neither forgotten nor forsaken

I have had the title of this post written since the third day of April, but finding words to fill the blog post has been difficult. Too much going on, words couldn't capture my experiences, and well, some things are intensely private and personal. Alas, the passion week has already arrived, and I have written relatively little in the blogging realm regarding my spiritual journey and character formation this Lenten season.

Rather than provide lengthy, vague explanations about this journey, I will say that I have been challenged over and over again on whether I daily live a life of leaning on the Lord. Head knowledge, cognitive awareness and recognition, or whatever you want to call it is insufficient and fails miserably in surviving and flourishing current life circumstances. I feel, in a relatively short period of time, I have been tested and stripped of so much, much like Job, described in the book of Job; many losses are yet still to come. Lots of tears have been shed, anguish has been had, and despair has been experienced. I have not, however, asked the "why me" question. I have struggled with whether I would have the required or necessary strength to endure such hardship, especially when the bad news keeps coming.

I confess, I have had moments where I wondered whether Jesus has fallen off the stage (reference to a sermon illustration I heard this past Sunday; ask if you're interested in knowing more) or whether I have been forgotten. But, the Lord has graciously reminded me that I am neither forgotten nor forsaken, in the form people reaching out to us in ways of wonder (and what I consider grandeur), not mere coincidence, accident, or dumb luck.

The road ahead is still uncertain and turbulent, but I will hold steadfast in following Jesus, pray that my character will continually be molded and shaped in his image, and learn to take life a moment at a time. I close with something I wrote on April 11, 2011.

On a fairly turbulent trying day,
the Lord seems blurry or hazy:
difficult to discern clearly;
but present nevertheless.
Initially, I feel very lonely,
but then Abba reminds me
of his love
by wrapping his arms around me
with the embrace of his people,
his other children -
who weep alongside me
and pray with me.

Lily Chang
Copyright 2011