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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Out of Sync

What happens when our personal lives and feelings are not matched up perfectly with the season? What if "He is risen!" fails to ignite a joy in our hearts because we "just aren't feeling it"?

Truth is we are unable to generate the feelings we think we are supposed to have. Bad news.
Feelings for that reason are really not what matter. Good News.

I remember one Easter morning (forty years ago) getting a phone call that the young son of our former next door neighbor had drown. I knew him only as a little kid, a dozen years younger than me, a teenager. He was probably around ten when he died. The shock of the phone call, coming just hours before the Easter service, left me stunned and numb. It was sad, sad for the family, and incongruous with the celebration of life and joy that Easter morning. I know some would say we sing "Alleluia!" because Jesus has conquered death. And I did sing "Alleluia!" that day and I did (still do) believe Jesus conquered death. But Jesus, who conquered death, did His share of crying, and there is something about little boys dying that just seems sad. As Paul says, Jesus will put down and conquer all rivals to the Kingdom... the last enemy is death. So death may be defeated, ultimately, but in the meantime the power of death is still set lose.

Death and sin, defeated in the end, still have their way among us. They do not only visit in penitential seasons. Sometimes life is out of sync. Great joyful events are touched by tragedy. A wedding party is disrupted by a heart attack. A birthday party ends in a car wreck. Much of it is more mundane and subtle. A human is touched by personal pain and sadness and cannot "feel" the joy. Cannot feel it, even as they long to taste and experience joy. Life just gets in the way...

So if that is you its okay. Sometimes happy events happen in solemn times. Sometimes we get tickled at funerals and laugh. Sometimes we are just happy and joyful because we just feel it. Independently of our circumstance we feel what we feel. Other times, we want joy, but cannot feel it.

Feelings are great but not all that matters. Love is not a feeling, it is a commitment. It is saying He is risen and knowing/trusting that is what is most important, even if I don't feel it. The bad news, feelings are sometimes out of sync. The Good News, the truth is still true even if we do not feel it.

He is risen, if that fails to stir joy in you right now, don't worry. He is risen. Someday death in all its forms (including feeling bad) will be defeated and destroyed. If you believe, even if you do not feel, then remember someday every tear will be wiped away. Some day sorrow and pain will be no more. Some day your life will be in total sync with the Father's glory. Some day, not today, but some day.

So do not worry or fret about how you feel. Commit to believe the truth. He is risen. Say it over and again. Sometimes, the sheer repetition is an effort. Sometimes the veil lifts. Sometimes... Until the Forever Day when all is made new!

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