Today is a special day as it would be Karlena’s 40th birthday. And I am pretty sure that her 40 and fabulous party in heaven isn’t anything like we would be having here.
But I miss her. And I wish that I was celebrating with her in person.
Today at church I am leading a song for worship team. (Please pray as you read this because it still TERRIFIES me.) Anyhoo….It is called At the Foot of the Cross.
I have listened to the song over a hundred times in the last 4 days and the words have sunk in deep, covering my soul with the reality that is the dance between suffering and grace.
The video I am attaching below is one where they show clips from the Passion movie. The scene where Jesus is being raised up on the cross and his beloved friends are at the foot of the cross watching.
I understand the pain they must have felt at that moment. Their friend and companion, their teacher and example was dying and they would never be the same again.
I imagine they must have wondered how any beauty could ever come from something so painful.
But it is at the foot of the cross, the very tool used for extreme suffering, that we find just that.
Beauty from ashes.
Hope in the midst of suffering.
Light in the darkness.
The cross is the very reason that the loss we all experience is not the end.
We have been given new life when we accept Jesus as our Savior. And that new life offers the promise that death is not the end. And while I would rather celebrate this special birthday with Karlena in person, I rejoice in the fact that one day we will be reunited.
And oh the party that will be.
I don’t know what burden you are carrying this morning.
Maybe it is the loss of a job, or a struggle in your marriage. Maybe your arms long for a baby of your own. Maybe you are carrying the weight of a sickness or the struggle with anxiety or depression.
Whatever it is, I encourage you to lay it down. If you have to physically do the act of setting it down, do that. Set it down at the foot of the cross.
We weren’t meant to carry it on our own. Jesus came to do the heavy lifting. But for some of us it means we have to first let go.
There is freedom found in trusting God with everything. We might not always understand the trials we face, but we can walk confidently knowing that He will make beauty out of all of it.
Happy Birthday Karlena. You are loved and missed but I rejoice today in your complete and total healing. Until the day we celebrate together…I love you friend!