As Holy Week begins, I am reminded of the words Rachel Held Evans wrote the other day on Facebook, “Perhaps it’s time to be more deliberate about clinging to hope.” I agree completely.
It is related to a piece I wrote a while ago entitled, “But You Hope”:
That moment of agony when you realize that nothing in the world, none of your sedation methods will make you feel better. None of the truth you know feels real, and the world spins upside down. No amount of numbing or screaming or hiding can make it feel okay again. You are left with a void, an absence of what should be, and there is nothing to be done about it. The painstaking efforts at denial do not prevent your insides from gushing out. You are left there, dying, holding onto the faint hope of a Being much greater than yourself that is able to make these dead, broken, dry bones come back to life again. You do not know, but you hope that God can cling onto you when you cannot cling onto anything at all. You do not know, but you hope.
It is so easy for me to cling to despair, hopelessness, and cynicism; to hold on to anger; to believe that redemption is too far away; to feel like resurrection is a distant dream. As this Easter season culminates with remembrance and celebration of God’s redemptive love, I think of the beauty, mystery, agony, and deliverance that Jesus’ death and resurrection brought to the world. I am reminded that whenever I succumb to bitterness, hope is still springing all around me. While it may not feel like it, the current state of affairs is temporary.
God WILL make these dead, broken, dry bones come back into life again.
God WILL cling onto me when I cannot cling to Him.
So many things are waiting: a marriage supper with the Lamb, residence in the New Jerusalem, and most of all, the shalom of God.
In the tension of the now-and-not-yet reality of the Kingdom of God, I will choose to rejoice and cling to the promise of resurrection– resurrection that has already happened and will yet happen.
Even when I can’t hold on anymore and everything within me denies this truth, I will grasp the darkness and find that God is still holding me.