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Let’s see, Good Friday,  hmmmmmm.  A historical perspective from a selfish perspective.

*As a child I remember Good Friday as the day when we weren’t allowed to do anything fun.

*As a tween or so (although we weren’t dorks enough to call it “tween” back then) I remember it as a day when we were done with whatever we gave up for lent.  We would then tentatively ask why it wasn’t Easter that we could be “done” but not pushing the envelope enough to dare have to wait two more days.

*For a long time in my late teens and early adulthood it was a day where I would not do much of anything for the day but think that I should have and feel guilty.

*Now, marriage and three kids later it’s a day where you do a cool church thing and dye Easter eggs with family.

All THAT being the case Good Friday is a great way to illustrate something that has been impressed upon me lately.  Imagine, if you will, that you are one of the Disciples.  At best you think that Jesus is going to be the Savior.  You feel that He is going to overthrow the Roman government and restore Israel to be it’s own governing body.  At worst, you really have no clue but you know that Jesus is a difference maker and you have seen some incredible stuff.  You have no idea that He is paying the price for not only your sins and the sins of all people for eternity.  You haven’t pieced together all the Old Testament prophecies and actual words of Jesus Himself.  Now, He is on the cross beaten and battered…and dying.  This is not what you wanted, thought was coming, or thought was possible.

If we were to be very honest we have had that feeling many times.  What has this life become?  It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  How did I get…here?  You may have even gotten to the point where you asked the very common question of, “Why?  Just why?  Why do bad things happen to good people…especially me?”

The result is typically one of two things.  The first is to shrug, give up, and figure it’s some sort of cosmic karmic punishment for things you did.  The other is you spiral inward and dwell in your suffering.  It’s all about you and your pain.  You trust no one, nothing, and get real mad at everyone for not caring more (no matter how much they have shown that they do care) about your pain and situation.

May I, on this Good Friday, ask you to do one thing?  Keep asking.  Why HAS this happened?  What IS going to come of this?  Why WOULD God let this  happen?  Really, keep asking.  Remember, the alternative is basically to give up and dwell in your pain or pretend it’s not there.

Allow me to tell you this, there’s a reason “it” has happened.  If you don’t ever get to why “it” happened you very well may get an answer to what will come of it.  God does not owe you this but I think that more often than not He will show you…eventually.  Why not get ahead of the lesson?  What’s the harm?

For me this all started the other day as I reflected on our time since Trey was diagnosed and looked at what very well may lie ahead.  I never would have imagined what God was going to do in the next 2 1/2 years.  Further, I wonder what will come of all of this.  The cynic says, “Jay, you are just trying to make your pain seem worth something.  That although you have experienced a great tragedy it had a reason.  People get sick, kids get sick, that’s all.  You have said yourself that everyone struggles with something, this is your struggle.”

Well, you are right on all accounts.  I do want all of my (and my family’s, and so many others who have supported us) pain be for a reason and in the long run to be for good and not just loss.  Bad things do happen to everyone and this is mine/ours for now.  But good has come of it.  It has been used for gain and not just loss.  I did have the guts to share my/our pain and watched it be used to help many many people.  I’m sure I have no clue how much it has helped certain folks.  I did not let the pain end with me and detach from it or over focus on myself and dwell in it.

For you, I encourage you to keep asking.  God does not owe you an answer, but He may answer you.  His ways are His and not always for us to understand.  To not ask though, to me, is a waste.  It is a tough ask, but ask it.  You very well may  have your eyes opened to some beautiful things.  At worst, you will find no answer (for now) but have begun or continued to talk to God in a very real and brutally honest way.  That is a good thing.

The Disciples watched and heard what happened to Jesus on the cross.  They had to be thinking “why?”  Oh, they found out.  They found out in a very very big way just days later.  My prayer is that you find out too.

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