If there really was a Jesus and if He really was the Son of God, then nothing else matters. I mean nothing.
I could say that years ago but it didn’t really matter. Not like it does now.
I can wrap my hands and my hope around this. There are days when I’m spent—when I have absolutely nothing left—and I seriously wonder what and when and why. But then I think of this thing called the cross.
Years ago—a lifetime ago, in a different universe—I heard about God and Jesus and the cross and saving souls almost every day. It started to lose its significance when people spoke about it and then figured out how to market it and sell it and package it in your local Christian bookstore. Don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a wonderful thing.
I simply lost my vision. I forgot the wonder of the cross.
My faith—the scraps I had—started to fade away.
In the great saga of eternity, and the grand spectrum of God’s story, my place was miniscule. I wandered and lost myself. I was less than half the whole.
This writing thing—it was pretty much all about me. Oh, I wrote some hopeful hope-filled stories. I put my morsels of faith on the pages. I was learning—not just about writing but about believing. I had miles and miles to go. Half the time I didn’t even want to walk this road. I wanted to write other stories. Dynamic, dark stories that had no value in light of eternity.
God had some work to do. And yeah, he still does.
He didn’t take the words away from me. He could have. He should have. But if He could speak through a donkey He could certainly speak through me. Slowly, sometimes painfully, God has shown me that it’s not about me. Not the morning and not noontime and not night.
I’ve fought. I’ve run. I’ve held on to my little vices. I’ve looked up and looked outward and looked everywhere but have constantly been forced to look back inwards. Toward my weak faith. To my ugly self and soul.
In the moments when I’ve wondered what was next, when I spent time knocking on doors I was trying to enter, God allowed surprises to catch me from behind. Each one with a special story to tell. Each one with some kind of hope to bring. Each one allowing me to keep typing away. Except I’m no longer typing for myself.
If Easter really is about Jesus rising from the dead—and I truly believe that it really did happen, without any doubt whatsoever—then life should be about celebrating and surrendering to this very fact.
Everything pales in comparison. Every single thing.
I can say that and I can believe that, but it’s still so difficult to live life embracing that. Yet God in His love has chosen to not forget me. Rather, He’s brought amazing people into my life who remind me of His grace and His love. People who celebrate Easter because they’ve had to cling to the very hope it brings.
The meaningless things can still wrap themselves around me. The allure of the world can still captivate me. I have so, so far to go. But these isolating, solitary years have done something beautiful inside. They’ve allowed me to look at the cross in a whole new light.
I am Peter who knows so much and have witnessed firsthand Christ’s love. Yet I’ve denied Him over and over again.
He’s a pretty good example to look up to. His journey ended pretty well, especially when you look at it in light of eternity.
Good Friday and Easter mean something. They mean everything.
God keeps reminding me. And maybe, hopefully, if I’m allowed, I can keep reminding others through whatever stories I’m able to tell.
He is risen. And yeah—that means this world and this life mean something. They mean everything to Him. Everything.