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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Living through Saturdays...

DISCLAIMER: Over the last several months, I have been encouraged to write regularly about the accident from 2004. I am working my way through writing a book about the incident. So, every Tuesday, I've taken the opportunity to write, remember and share snapshots of that tragic event.

After the wreck, I was forced to the realization that while Sarah and Josh's lives had ended prematurely...mine had not. Nor could I let it. On April 8th, the day before the wreck, Sarah and I had been thrilled to find out that our former church was inviting us back to Franklin, TN to plant our next church. Sarah had always loved middle Tennessee and, for both of us, we saw it as a chance to go home and continue God's work. Just a few days later, our friend and former pastor from the church would call to ask if I was still up to the move with all that had happened. I knew what my answer had to be. My life was still yet to be lived. There were still chapters to be written and pages to be turned. My kids needed their dad. God still had a plan. And no matter how violently my life had been shaken on that Good Friday, the wreck had not knocked God off of His thrown.

Jesus died on Friday. You and I can hardly understand the depth of emotion the disciples must have felt on that Saturday. Maybe that's why the Bible doesn't talk about it much. Surely there were questions. How could they give three years of their lives only to wind up huddled in a room? There were fears. Could it be that everything Jesus said about himself was wrong? I am sure there was anger and confusion and, maybe, there was talk of quitting.

Don't you imagine that at least a couple of the disciples that Saturday were thinking about going back to their previous lives? Fishermen, a doctor, a tax collector. There may have been a few who even thought of following Judas' lead. Let's face it. This was no ordinary death. The man who had led them for the last three years was gone. They were not living just any old Saturday.

But if they had quit--if they had decided to turn their back and walk away--they would have missed out on Sunday. They would have missed the most significant event in all of human history. They would have missed the chance to have their fears erased, questions answered, and doubts wiped away...all because they decided to quit.

I was facing that same choice. My wife died on Friday. My world was shaken to its core. I won't lie. I can't. There were days that I just wanted to withdraw or quit. It was so tempting to let life happen to me as it chose rather than choosing to intentionally make my life happen. But look at all I would have missed.

I would have missed out on pastoring this amazing church. I would have never had the privilege of watching my kids grow up to fulfill God's plan for their lives. I would have never known the blessing of two new daughters in Landon and Morgan. I would have never met Lisa, would have never known love again, would have never seen God use our marriage the way He has.

Some of you who read this have shared your stories with me. You've had your share of "Fridays"--the tragedies and trials and struggles that touch all of us. Right now, you are in the midst of your Saturday--questioning whether or not your life is worth the struggle and facing the fears that confront you. Let me assure you, know matter what Friday was like or what you are facing on Saturday...Sunday is worth the wait. It was for me. It was for those first disciples.

God has been in the business of turning trial into triumph. He loves to make winners out of those the world considers losers. Just keep holding on, believing that everything you face will be used by God for His glory. Sunday is just around the corner...

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