Easter's Triumph


What does Easter's triumph mean to you?

Does it remind you that Christ's victory is ours (1 Cor. 15:57) and we can be triumphant in everything, over everything, and through everything that comes our way?
 
Triumphant over autism, triumphant over Alzheimer's. Triumphant over alcoholism, addictions, and aging.
Triumphant despite bankruptcy, triumphant despite betrayal. Triumphant despite broken hearts, broken friendships, and broken cars.

Triumphant through confusion. Triumphant through cancer. Triumphant through conflicts, confrontations, and computer problems.

Triumphant through debt and disasters, triumphant through disappointments and dangers. Triumphant through divorce, depression, and drug abuse.

Triumphant in our emergencies, triumphant in our emotions.
Triumphant in times of fear, famine, and foreclosure.  
Triumphant despite our guilt, despite our grief.
Triumphant over hatred and hunger and homelessness.

Triumphant despite infertility and injustice,
Triumphant despite jail and job losses.
Triumphant through kidnappings and killings,
Triumphant through loneliness and layoffs.

Triumphant over migraines, marriage problems, and mental illness.
Triumphant over nagging, nightmares, and nasty neighbors.
 
Triumphant over oppression, triumphant over obsessions. Triumphant in caring for orphans.
Triumphant over persecution, triumphant over PTSD. Triumphant in parenting and caring for prisoners.
 
Triumphant despite our questions, triumphant despite our quarrels.
Triumphant over racism, triumphant over ridicule.
Triumphant over stress and sickness and slavery.

Triumphant despite tragedy, triumphant despite terrorism. Triumphant through tension and torment and tears.
Triumphant through unemployment, triumphant through uncertainty. Triumphant through unexplained sorrow and pain.

Triumphant over violence and vengeance,
Triumphant over weakness and worry,
Triumphant over e-xploitation and e-xtreme aggravation.
 
Triumphant despite yesterday's mistakes, triumphant despite our yearnings for the wrong things,
Triumphant despite zero chance of finding perfect happiness.
 
We are triumphant because "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (Rom. 8:37)
 
This is Easter's triumph, and it belongs to us.

Thursday – April 17, 2014

Unused potential


Last week I noticed a strange red convertible parked inside a neighbor's garage.

The car looked normal enough (nice paint job, clean license plate), but someone had filled the car's interior with plastic grocery bags full of something. Extra clothes? Old junk destined for Goodwill? More plastic bags?

I couldn't tell what was inside the bags, but they filled every inch of the front and back seats, rising high above the windshield.

Apparently the car is now a cabinet. Or maybe a storage locker.

I may consider it foolish to waste a car's potential, but I fear we sometimes waste the potential of things far more powerful.

Things like prayer.
Love.
Grace.
Hope.
Encouragement.
Forgiveness.
Leadership.
Vision.
God's Word.
Spiritual gifts.
Holy Spirit boldness.

Do we want to take these gifts from God and use them as He intended or leave them parked in the garage?

The potential is real. The choice is ours.

Thursday – April 3, 2014