When problems try to bury you, make it hard to pray,
It may seem like Friday , but Sunday’s on the way! ~Carman
The singer Carman wrote those words in “Sunday’s on the Way,” a story song about a conversation between the devil and a character named Grave that takes place right after Jesus was crucified. In the story, Jesus is dead and the battle over, but the devil is nervous and keeps calling Grave all weekend to make sure He is still dead. Grave reassures him that his sting is still intact and Jesus is never coming back, but come Sunday morning, they discover the stone covering the tomb rolled away and Jesus alive. Although things looked hopeless, black, and bleak, there was more to the story- Jesus overcame what appeared to be the impossible to rise again.
Life, even in less dramatic ways, is very much like that sometimes. Our circumstances can be so dark, so hopeless, that it is easy and quite understandable to succumb to the belief that it will never get any better. Because the truth is, sometimes it doesn’t get better for a very long time, and sometimes, here on earth, our circumstances don’t get better, ever. That’s the difficult reality of living in a sinful world.
But the story doesn’t have to end there.
You see, when bad things happen to us, whether we caused them through our own actions, or we are a victim of things (or people) beyond our control, we have a choice. We can let that situation overcome us, paralyze us, and bury us; or we can choose the path of peace and hope by relinquishing control (or acknowledging that we never really did have control to start with) and trusting something bigger. Part of that is that we can’t really take actions to improve a situation- whether that improvement is in our circumstances or inside our hearts- until we stop arguing with life that we shouldn’t be going through this anyway.
The other part is to hold on to the hope and belief that there is a bigger purpose beyond our circumstances. For me that means that I know and trust that God will use- and has used- even the most trying and difficult times to mold me, to bring good to my life, and to help others. I’ve been through dark “weekends” that I thought would never end, only to wake up to fresh new Sunday mornings when I least expected it.
This Easter weekend, as we observe somber reflection of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross on Friday and the quiet Saturday remembering the despair of his followers who thought it was all over, we have the hope of knowing the rest of the story. We know that Jesus overcame the grave, and gave us not only hope here on earth, but brought us eternal hope, that by accepting His gift of sacrifice, we can celebrate Sundays in heaven.
Take heart, Sunday’s on the way.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33