but,

It’s Holy Saturday – I should be sleeping in order to get up early for sunrise service tomorrow. I’m set on zoning out to Netflix before I sleep when it suddenly hits me: I don’t think I’m going for the right reasons. It’s because Josh is doing worship and some part of me thinks I should be there with him. It’s because Ellen is going and offering me a ride so I know I can save $2 and perhaps around 20 or so minutes getting there. It’s because of the convenience and appeal of seeing people I like. It’s not at all about worshipping God. It’s about serving myself.

I haven’t been able to pay attention to Sunday sermons for the past few months. My mind goes everywhere. I know that I have power over my thoughts but I don’t try to control them. I could say that I’m too tired to do so but honestly, I just don’t want to put in the effort. Only the Lord knows whether I’ll be present tomorrow morning for two services.

In my six years of being a Christian, I can say this year is the one in which I’ve been the most disobedient. The one where I’ve been the “worst” Christian. The one where I’ve been the most selfish and self centered, most anxious and doubting, most distant and uncaring. I feel like I’m the seed that fell among the thorns and was choked to near death as I grew.

I can beat myself down all I want but the Lord has been faithfully revealing to me that it’s a lost cause. The Lord chose to point out to me how I’ve failed, not because He wants to scold me and make me feel guilty. Not because He delights in seeing me squirm and grovel and struggle to make amends. The Lord points out my failings so He can say, “but, I love you still.” So that I can delight in His grace. So that I can rest in His forgiveness.

I messed up – but, God forgives. God loves me regardless of how much I’ve sinned because of what Jesus did on the cross for me.

Jesus died – but, He rose from the grave. He defeated the grave and in doing so won victory for all who believe in Him. Death has no hold on me.

I am suffering – but, God is redeeming. What was meant for evil, God meant for good.

I am not in the best place, not in the right mindset, not very close to the Lord – but He draws close to me.

There is hope.

The empty grave reminds me – Christ is risen, He is alive, and I am forever loved and saved.

Thank you, Jesus. Happy Easter.