As we walk closer towards the Cross, my mind is flooded with the pains of family, friends, and the Church around the world.
So much hurt. So many different trials.
Yesterday, Katherine fought her nap so hard. Her little body was exhausted, but she refused to give in. It was like an hour long wrestling match. A wrestling match that left me in tears and left Katherine finally giving in to sleep. She couldn't fight sleep any longer, and I couldn't fight keeping it together any longer. I asked God to please let her learn to sleep well, to take away whatever wakes her so often. And even in the midst of my prayer I had to fight off guilt. Guilt that told me I shouldn't let this sleep struggle get to me because there are much bigger things going on in the world. If this is the toughest thing my sweet Katherine has to deal with than I can only be grateful. I can be grateful, but I can also admit it's hard.
I had to remind myself, even though people all around the globe are dealing with a variety of issues, in that moment Katherine's sleep struggle was what I was dealing with and it was hard. And it's okay for me to admit that. And my God wants me to cry out to Him. He doesn't want me to compare or convince myself that I shouldn't bother Him with such a petty thing.
He loves me.
This week reminds me that He cares. He cares about it all.
Holy Week is such a sacred, special time for the people of the Cross. It reminds us of the Gospel. It brings us back to what our faith is all about. Holy Week invites us to steadfastly gaze into the eyes of our precious Savior and see the beautiful abundance of love and grace, mercy and compassion looking back at us.
As our precious Savior journeyed closer to the Cross, He journeyed to the Father's heart in prayer. In prayer for His people, for us. He was gazing into a gruesome death, but still thought of us. Loved us. Cared for us. In those agonizing moments of waiting for the Cross, our Great High Priest interceded for us.
"When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
Jesus prayed for us before taking on our sins on the cross. He called us His own. And He prayed for the perseverance, the sanctification, the unity of His own, of the people of the Cross. And after He ascended, He continues to intercede for us. Our precious Savior conquered sin and death and sits enthroned in heaven. He sees. He knows. He hears. He cares.
He loves you.
Whatever your sorrow is, your sorrow will turn to joy.
Whatever your pain is, your pain will be redeemed.
Whatever your trial is, your trial will be used for God's glory and your good.
Press on, brothers and sisters.
This week reminds us that Jesus has gone before us and He walks with us. His finished work on the cross gives us the strength to carry our crosses. His defeat of sin and death gives us powerful freedom to live in grace, in holiness, in joy, in peace, in hope. And our hope in Him does not disappoint.
His grace is sufficient and His faithfulness is sure. His presence is peace and His love is unending.
You are not alone. You are deeply loved.
When you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with you. When you face tribulation in this world, He takes you by the hand and whispers into your heart that He has overcome the world. When you are wounded, He points to the cross and shows you His wounds that have healed you. When you are so very weary, He invites you to come and find rest in Him. And when you hold your sleep-fighting little one, He is holding you both and singing over you.
May this Holy Week remind you of the simple, yet profound, truth that Jesus loves you.
Jesus. Loves. You.
Sarah loves Jesus and her family and is passionate about addressing the urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world. She is the wife of Spencer and mama of Katherine and Claire, and they live in Nashville, TN. She runs a photography business with her husband and writes in order to offer encouragement and invite others to choose grace, joy, and gratitude in the adventure and the mundane. She loves traveling and reading; she will choose unsweet tea over sweet and bootcut jeans over skinny; and she is all sorts of awkward with small talk but thrives with deep conversations.