When I am in deep emotional and psychological pain I need something solid to hold onto. The things I have been through with my daughter have brought me the deepest pain of my life and therefore the greatest need for comfort and hope. So I turn to what I believe is truth — the Bible. When I read Luke 23:26 – 24:45, which tells most of the Easter story, I am struck by how much truth is in here that encourages me, comforts me and gives me hope as one whose child struggles with substance abuse, self harm, suicidal thoughts and mental illness.
I thought I’d share with you some of the truths I see in the Easter story that mean a lot to me as a parent in pain. I hope maybe something here will resonate with your heart and give you a little more hope and comfort, too. I need all I can get! How about you?
God is all-powerful; if He can raise Jesus from the dead, then I know he can do the impossible in my child’s life, too! And mine!
Nothing is too hard for God; NOT A THING (mental illness, addiction, a prison sentence, eating disorders, etc.)
Things may look hopeless today (Jesus suffered flogging, was unjustly convicted, died a brutal death on a cross, was buried and his body was in a tomb 3 days), BUT . . . it wasn’t the end of the story! It’s Friday (when Jesus died), but Sunday’s coming (Resurrection Day)! Today is mystery to us; we can’t explain ‘why’; can’t understand or make sense of it with our own reasoning abilities – we must trust God no matter how things look. Anything is possible for him!
You never know what God is doing. We must believe he can redeem any situation and use it for good not just in my life and my child’s, but as a ripple effect in the lives of others who will see and hear about what God did. No one ever imagined God would raise Jesus from the dead! No way!
God DOES have a plan and he will be with us every step of the way as it unfolds.
There is always hope for anyone. It’s never too late! Jesus told the criminal on the cross beside him that he would be with him that day in paradise. This man would die in just a few hours, but there was still hope for him.
God will do whatever it takes to reveal truth to people. Earthquakes, the dead coming out of their tombs talking to people, angels bringing messages, Jesus appearing in a locked room and then disappearing, touching his pierced hands and side. Yet, he gives to all free will to choose whether or not they will believe. It’s not forced on anyone. All who see and hear will not respond in faith.
God’s love is incredible, immeasurable and incomprehensible. He loves every single person he ever made more than we could ever imagine; enough to enter into this messed up world in human form, in the person of Jesus, His son; allowing him to suffer and die a horrible death on a cross to pay the penalty for our offenses to him, so that we could be forgiven and cleansed, be made right with him, have an intimate relationship with him and have the free gift of eternal life. “God so loved the world . . .” (John 3:16) Yes, he surely does. And that includes me and my child, no matter what they’ve done or what has been done to them.
God is faithful to keep his word throughout all generations. He is trustworthy and dependable. Fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies is throughout the Easter passages and all of the four gospels.
(from v. 26 “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things then enter his glory?”) We may have to suffer to bring glory to God. He has allowed suffering to come into my life through my child, but it has a bigger purpose. It’s not about me, it’s about God and His glory!
**Which one of these truths means most to you today as a hurting parent? Choose one and write it on an index card or piece of paper. Put it out somewhere as a reminder to you of who God is and what He can do in your life or in your child’s life. Look up these Bible verses and read them for yourself. What else do you see? I’m sure you’ll find even more truths than I did!
***Pray and give thanks to God for the truth you wrote down and any other ones you find. And keep your eyes on the cross! Jesus is alive and lives to help us through anything we will ever face in our lives! Our hope is real!
HERE ARE TWO VERY HELPFUL TIPS FOR SURVIVING A HOLIDAY:
1) LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. IT WILL HELP YOU NOT FEEL SO BADLY IF THINGS DON’T HAPPEN LIKE YOU WANT!!!
2) DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THIS YEAR IF YOUR PREVIOUS TRADITIONS WILL MAKE YOU FEEL MORE SAD AND UPSET. START SOME NEW ONES YOU CAN ENJOY FROM THIS POINT ON!