The time we’re in right now is unprecedented.
It’s hard. Suuuuuper hard.
It’s lonely, isolating, scary, & many times, overwhelming.
However, as we celebrated Easter amidst these circumstances this past weekend, I was reminded of another time in history when the circumstances must have had many people feeling exactly the same way we are now.
If you’re not yet familiar with the Jesus story, consider reading these two chapters from the book of Matthew in the Bible. It will give you context for my below thoughts.
I’ll wait….. ;)
Welcome back! Heehee.
A week after we paused to remember the historical event of Jesus being alive & well despite his crucifixion, the verse that stands out to me more than ever is one I hadn’t specifically noticed before.
Now, no matter where your faith may be today, the Easter story has much to offer. Regardless of your belief in certain religious practices, beliefs, or doctrines, I ask you to consider the following from a brand new lens.
Take a deep breath and allow your current circumstances, difficulties, frustrations, disappointments, ups, downs, & pain to become the place from which you can interact with the story of Jesus’ death in a new way.
In Matthew 28:8 it talks about the first people to visit Jesus’ tomb (grave) after he had been laid to rest. It was 2 women, close friends of his, coming to prepare his body as was the cultural custom of the time.
As they approached the tomb, they discovered it was empty and were, at first, confused. They started to think about any possible explanation - or at least, I imagine I would, right?
Can you think of a time in the last few weeks or months where you were left dumbfounded, confused, & in search of an explanation to our current situation? I can think of more than a few...
Ultimately, the women were told the most amazing news: their friend, confidant, & teacher, Jesus, had come back to life, just as he said.
And their reaction?
It says they were, "afraid YET filled with joy."
Afraid. YET! Filled with joy.
This short sentence hit me in such a pertinent way to what we're living right now.
I don’t know about you but there are definitely times, especially in the last few months, I have been afraid. It’s such a reassuring thought to realize that while I’m afraid, I can still choose to be filled with JOY.
Here’s the beautiful news for us, right now:
Fear and joy are not mutually exclusive.
They can co-exist within us and so often do.
Now, like never before, I’m seeing more clearly how multidimensional we are as humans. And, how pandemics, crisis, & tragedy can break us…
OR, how they can co-exist with and even solidify the joy that we have within us.
Even scared. Joy is still there.
It’s ok to be afraid. Just remember, you can also be filled with joy at the same time.