By Ava Pennington—
The clichés abound. Life is a process. Life is a journey. Life is a highway.
Life is each of these and more. But as we move through the processes, in our journeys, and on the highways, what are we doing during these times? Especially during the times of waiting? Or times of pain? Or the times of discouragement?
During these days leading up to Easter, I’m reminded of Jesus’ disciples. How optimistic they must have been after His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. They had invested more than three years of their lives to follow Him, live with Him, and learn from Him. They had seen the most amazing things: water made into wine, people healed, demons exorcised, the dead brought back to life. Who, but God, could do such marvelous things?
Yet on that Thursday night, they moved from expectancy to hopelessness. They stood in shock as Jesus – the One on whom they had placed all their hopes – was dragged away by armed guards. With their expectations dashed, they slunk off into the darkness, confused, discouraged, even despairing.
When they thought things couldn’t get any worse, the Romans executed Jesus in the most torturous and degrading manner possible. Overcome by fear, and ashamed of their own cowardice, the disciples hid. Only one disciple, believed to be John, was among those at the foot of the cross.
Saturday was a nebulous day. A day which they probably passed through on auto-pilot. What would they do next? After three years of following this Teacher, would they return to their old lives? Would they even have lives to return to?
Then came Sunday. Even with the report of Jesus’ victorious resurrection, they hesitated. Afraid to hope the circumstances of the past several days were not the end. Afraid to believe Jesus was indeed the long-awaited Messiah. Afraid to step out of the shadows into the light.
What about you? Is your life caught in Thursday? Are you dealing with the initial shock and despair of dashed hopes?
Perhaps you’re trapped in Friday, where your dreams have not only been dashed, but they’ve been buried, too.
Or are you stalled in the waiting room of Saturday? Having to let go of the past, but not sure of the future?
Wherever you are, Sunday is coming! By the grace of God, faith in Christ, and the power of His Holy Spirit, you can step out…
…from condemnation to restoration.
…from darkness to light.
…from resentment to forgiveness.
…from hopelessness to hope.
…from death to life.
Be encouraged. Sunday’s on the way!”
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. ~ John 20:19-20 (NIV)
Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. Originally from New York City, she relocated after a 20-year corporate career as a Human Resources executive. But don’t call her retired. In addition to writing and speaking, she teaches a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 200+ women from September through May each year.
Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts Ministries International. Ava has also written articles for magazines such as Power for Living, Called, and Christianity Today’s Today’s Christian Woman. She has been published in 25 anthologies, including 18 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
Ava is grateful for her husband, Russ, their marriage of 35+ years, and their home in south Florida. She is a passionate speaker and teacher, and delights in challenging audiences with relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, visit www.AvaWrites.com or contact her at Ava@AvaWrites.com.