By Kelly Carr
Sometimes it’s hard to get emotionally built up for an annual event. When something is rare, occasional, or the fulfillment of a long-term goal, that day is fraught with anticipation, uninhibited joy, perhaps a bit of relief.
But when events occur regularly, expectedly, they can lose their wonder. That can happen on biblical holidays too. They are supposed to be holy and special, yet they don’t always feel that way.
Disappointed with Expectation
Christmas was a struggle for me this past December. Usually that’s a magical time. I get in the spirit with music and lights. I put out my nativity sets around the living room and renew my awe that God would choose to begin his earthly dwelling by coming as a helpless baby. However, this year it didn’t work. I tried going through all the motions to churn up nostalgic feelings inside. Nothing happened.
There’s a certain expectation that we may place on ourselves or feel other people are pressuring us to experience when it comes to days such as Christmas, Good Friday, or Easter. These are momentous occasions in Jesus’ life when his actions created and sealed our salvation. Surely these dates on the calendar and the accompanying worship services should trigger some deep emotions, true?
Yet we can’t schedule our feelings. Perhaps today you were too busy serving and attempting to provide an atmosphere for other people to hear from God’s Spirit, so you didn’t have time to dwell on the resurrection yourself. Perhaps you felt too overwhelmed by circumstances in your life and couldn’t concentrate on today’s celebration.
I have a feeling that God doesn’t look at the calendar and judge us accordingly. He knows what’s going on in our hearts. He knows if today won’t be filled with amazement.
Caught by Surprise
Here’s the secret—tomorrow and the next day and the next day Jesus’ resurrection will be just as important to our souls as it is today. So if it takes you a while to grasp the wonder, it will still be as important when you do.
God’s truth and grace and love take us by surprise when we aren’t looking for them. Maybe he enjoys when our spirits are moved by his Spirit during the unplanned, everyday moments. That might make him smile even more than when we are reverently devoted during a sunrise service.
Can you recall a time when God’s majesty took your breath away? You may not remember the date on the calendar, but you can likely retain a memory of it happening. God is always active, and when we are seeking him, he will communicate with us in any number of ways.
At times you may gain a powerful perspective on Jesus during a great, planned gathering of saints on Easter Sunday. Or it may happen when you’re walking down the street; or when you’re praying in desperation; or when you’re opening the Bible for the first time in a long while.
Take Your Time
This issue’s articles are meant to help you regain hope. Read it when you’re ready. Ask God to speak to you when you do.
In the meantime, happy Resurrection Sunday. No matter what this day brings for you, the truth of what God did through Jesus is important. I hope you have a chance to comprehend it anew. But if that doesn’t happen until weeks or months from now, don’t worry. God does not change, and he is always ready to make a change in you—any day of the year.