In the midst of a chaotic and confusing time, Easter remains a constant. This year it may not be shared with family in the same way or celebrated in church buildings like years-gone-by. But Easter itself remains, just like the truth that it pertains to. And perhaps, now more than ever, its message is as life-giving as it ever has been. And to that end, I write this. Not to belittle or ignore the efforts of those around the globe fighting on the frontlines of the pandemic or to overlook the heart and resilience of everyone doing their part by just ‘staying home’. But rather to strengthen my soul in the one fact that remains unturned or unchanged by this, or indeed any storm that clouds our skies.
Though this fight is an unusual one, largely we find ourselves in the same scenario as every other day. Though the stakes are higher and the surroundings appear different, the simple dilemma is faith vs fear. We often times burden ourselves with fears and doubts that are already beaten and are no longer ours to carry (speaking from experience). But yet no matter the darkness, no matter the seeming uncertainty – Jesus already took those weights onto himself when he died. And when He reversed death a few days later, he rendered all those things forever powerless. Choose to believe it or not, but the option is available to us.
I’m not a stranger to anxiety, I’ve racked up far too much time surrounded by the dark and misty cling of depression. And while I’ve largely come out the other side of it, the storms of today still come knocking. In the literal darkest part of the night, I can hear the fear calling. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned time and time again, it’s the value and importance of my focus amidst the waves. So while the storm gets heavier, the night gets darker, the waves get bigger and the fog thickens – there is a lighthouse that stands tall above it. Built in the darkness, but destined from the light. And when Jesus died, that lighthouse pierced the darkness for all of time. But it’s a decision to focus on the light or be drowned out by the darkness.
Way back in age of Moses, when a plague of snakes threatened the lives of the Israelites – God provides a new focus to redeem them. A snake on a pole – that when the looked upon it, after being bit, they survived. It’s unlikely the pole held any direct supernatural power, and if it did, it would have been inherited from the God who instructed its assembly. But through the focus on the symbol, and by association the God of healing power, they were saved. The focus on the redemption over the circumstances was the key. That same principle was the precursor to Jesus’ being our salvation, on whom to focus upon. And still today, the light remains a constant.
The simple knowledge and act of faith in believing Jesus is who He said He is – shines His light so bright that even the darkest night cannot overcome it. Though we remain in the midst of the storm, the light remains for us to rely on, depend on and trust in.
It has been said that faith is a crutch to the uneducated. Let me be clear, my faith in Jesus is not my crutch – it’s my whole lifeblood and focus. I will gladly claim I need Jesus to focus on when I regularly don’t understand or when anxiety tries its best. And, in short, I don’t have the answers, but if I knew it all, it would negate the purpose of faith altogether. And it’s the faith that overcomes fear.
If He says He is constant. Then He is.
If He says He is above it all. Then He is.
If He says He is God. Then He is.
And that is good enough for me.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give us the Light of the knowledge of the glory and majesty of God in the face of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6-9