Lent is the time in 40 days leading up to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The truth is that so often we want to skip over Jesus’ crucifixion and death straight to Easter Sunday. Yet we cannot have Easter without first experiencing the pain and reality of Good Friday.
Grief often feels like journeying on the Lenten weary road. We wonder how long the road will last. We stumble and fall. We trudge our way through the muck and mire of our Lenten weary roads. And often in the midst of grief, we find ourselves as road weary travelers.
This past Lent, I found myself on the road wondering how very long that road would be. There are still so many days that I find myself trudging along this road. I am tired and weary from watching my dear friends being buried. I am tired of children having to say goodbye to their parents way too early. I am tired of shedding holy tears for those I have loved and have loved me.
The 40 days of Lent are long over as Easter came and we celebrated that life not death has overcome the grave. Yet there are still many days that I still feel like I am standing in the wilderness trying to find my way to the cross and then ultimately to the empty grave. Yet as Clarence W Hall reminds us, “Easter says that you can put death in the grave, but it won’t stay there.”
In other words, life ultimately has the final word. In all actuality, our loved ones are no longer with us here on earth. But we will one day be united in heaven. It is hard to live our days without them. Yet the promise is that one day we will see them again. The promise is that God will never leave us or forsake us.
And trusting in that promise, I know that I won’t always feel this way. I know that eventually the road will lead me to the empty tomb. It just might take a long while to get there. But resurrection does happen. Life does have the final word!