#TellHisStory: It’s Tuesday … But Sunday’s Comin’

March 31, 2015 | Easter, Straight Up Gospel | 29 comments

Sometimes, life doesn’t make a lick of sense until you look back on it in the rear-view mirror. Because when you’re in the middle, it’s a muddle.

This was my muddle: I could never figure out why the tomb was empty. I knew what the Bible said, but that didn’t seem a plausible explanation.

I used to think it all ended in the cemetery. Even Jesus.

I used to tiptoe into every tomorrow, thinking that were only tombstones in the fields, and that the best dreams got buried, and faith was pretend. And it all looked like a hollow wish upon a burned-out star. Someone would shovel clods of dirt over top of your burial vault, and that was it. End of story.

fading flowers

I wanted Easter to be true, and I wished and wished upon stars for Jesus to be real. I tried to pray to God, but he was so silent. At least the stars twinkled on the black-velvet sky when I lay on the cool grass of spring, out by the chicken shed.

I wore the lacy Easter dresses, and ate Dean Maiden’s cinnamon rolls in the church basement after sunrise service, and I put my teenage lips to the trumpet to blare “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” from the balcony.

I had all the creeds memorized.

And no one knew how bad I ached for it to be real.

But Easter felt like a sham, a place where people’s best hopes faded into nothingness.

Maybe that’s how Jesus’ friends felt on that Friday, when every hope they held suddenly bled down the side of a hill.

How do you believe in a dead guy?

You wait for Sunday. That’s how.

Sundays coming, east

You keep waiting for Sunday. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard. And sometimes, Sunday can feel years away.  Sometimes, you can pray your heart out, and hear only the silence, and every day feels like a Good Friday when all you get is bad news, bad reports, another missed chance, another (fill-in-your-own-pain-here).

Even if you believe God is real, you might not believe He’s good. Maybe all you see is your hope bleeding down the side of a hill.

But Sunday? It’s coming. It really is.

Can we hold out for Sunday, together?

iowa sunrise 5

Copy of iowa sunrise 6

I lived years of Good Fridays, holding out for Sunday, swimming in doubt.

Eventually, my doubt became a blessing, not a curse. For it drew me into His word. And then, this news reporter began to pursue the biggest news story ever to hit the planet: The Good News of Jesus Christ. I studied, and I wrote. I wrote my way through my Good Fridays. And I’m not sure if I could really make sense of what I was writing. But I kept stringing letters together, like those letters might sew me together so what little faith I had didn’t fall out of me.

Looking back now, I think my heart was smarter than my brain. My heart wanted to believe, but my head hadn’t caught up yet. That’s how it looks in the rear-view mirror anyhow.

A.W. Tozer once wrote that faith is like an eye. The eye sees everything in front of it, but never sees itself. I’ve begun to realize that I had faith after all, but I couldn’t recognize it for what it was. My puny faith was groping for God, in a way that neither my eyes nor my mind could see.

My heart was gazing upon a saving God, even when my mind couldn’t make out the shape of Him. Somewhere along the line, my heart began to outsmart my head, and my mustard seed grew.

And all the while, I kept waiting for Sunday.

And behold,
it came.

And I don’t wish on stars anymore.

#TellHisStory

Hey Tell His Story crew! It’s always a joy to gather here every week. The linkup goes lives each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great. And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful!

Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there! Colleen Mitchell is our latest featured writer. She writes, “Truthfully? I don’t want to be better than you. The only woman I want to be better than is me.” (To be considered for linkup, be sure to use our badge or a link to the linkup in your post. 🙂 )

xo

Jennifer

 


by | March 31, 2015 | Easter, Straight Up Gospel | 29 comments

29 Comments

  1. JosephPote

    Oh, I love this, Jennifer!

    Yes, we must slog through the doubts and fears of the Good Fridays simply believing He has a plan and a purpose…until we arrive at Resurrection Sunday to see His Life for ourselves.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You are so welcome, Joseph. I hope you have a very meaningful Easter!

      Reply
  2. Abby

    Thank you for this, Jennifer. I spent many years feeling the same way. I just didn’t get it. I thank God that, like you, my head finally caught up to my heart and my faith grew. You post reminds me of something I read in Angie Smith’s book, Chasing God, about how we can’t base faith on our feelings. Just keep seeking God even when we don’t feel him, and He will see us right where we are.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I love that concept from Angie. I have Chasing God here on my bookshelf, and have not yet read it! Sounds like a great book. Too many books; not enough time. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Kamea Hope

    Beautiful Jennifer. How glorious to know that Sunday is coming, both during this Easter season, but also in the midst of our sometimes messy lives. The season of ‘Friday’ with its pain and heartache can seem unbearably long, but God is good, and we can have faith that Sunday will indeed come!
    Blessings,
    Kamea

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Amen, Kamea. Thank you.

      Reply
  4. Loved As If

    The very act of slogging through the doubts and fears is faith. We have an image of what faith is supposed to be like and forget, faith is hanging on a cross next to Jesus, knowing we don’t deserve any better, suffering ourselves, but choosing to defend Him anyway as we beg, Lord, Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I love this. So much. —> “The very act of slogging through the doubts and fear is faith.” Thank you for that. Truly.

      Reply
  5. Mary

    My hope does lie in the truth that “Sunday’s comin’ Growing up in a ritualistic church my brain always knew that Jesus rose from the dead but my heart never followed that thinking until more recently. Now I know that Sunday does come and Jesus dying on a cross was not in vain because He is here with us. Thank you for these words today and the reminder to always look to Sunday!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Mary…

      I was the reverse. My heart wanted to believe, but my head couldn’t buy into what my heart desired. I’m so glad that God gave me the desire of my heart. Thanks for being here, Mary, and may you have a most blessed Easter with your loved ones.

      Reply
  6. Kristi Woods

    Love this –> “And then, this news reporter began to pursue the biggest news story ever to hit the planet: The Good News of Jesus Christ.”

    So thankful your mustard seed grew, Jennifer. So thankful we have a faithful Savior. Happy Easter!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Me, too! Overwhelmed with gratitude. Happy Easter, Kristi.

      Reply
  7. Laura at Godward with Laura

    I loved reading about your journey, Jennifer! People really make their faith their own when they dive in, dissect their doubts, and pursue truth in their own time. This faith is so much more fulfilling than a hand-me-down faith. 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      A joy to have you here , Laura. Thank you for reading along with my story. So grateful to have you here. Be blessed this Easter, and always.

      Reply
  8. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    Beautiful, Jennifer! I’m waiting for Sunday with you. Isn’t it amazing that the power of God that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that lives in us? That’s the power that enables us to wait for Sunday. Blessings to you and yours!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Yes, Heather. Yes! I love that.

      Reply
  9. Betsy Cruz

    I can relate because I spent many years as a church girl not really sure what the big deal about Jesus was. But praise God, Sunday came for me too! Even though like you, I’m still waiting for it on many levels. (Especially after the day I had yesterday!) Happy Easter to you and your family, Jennifer.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Betsy…. I hope that God’s presence is thick in your Easter, and in your year. Until heaven, we don’t get to see the fullness of “Sunday’s comin’.” But it’s ours. Sunday is ours. I believe!

      Reply
  10. JViola79

    Jennifer, this is where I say, “Me too!” >> “Eventually, my doubt became a blessing, not a curse. For it drew me into His word.” I am so grateful doubt compelled me to get into His Word, to discover His promises, and to know He is faithful to every one. Sunday is coming!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I remember thinking, at the time, how horrible it was — to be so burdened by doubt. And i was horrible. I remember standing at graveside services and thinking, “This is it. This is the end. There’s nothing after the grave. It’s over for this guy, and one day it will be over for me, too. And everybody’s talking about Heaven, but it’s not real. It’s fairy tale.” … Those were painful, horrific years. No hope…. But God. But God! I’m grateful that He used my doubt to stir something deep within me — and I became an investigative reporter of God’s Word. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Danise Jurado

    Thank you my sweet and precious friend… Always a lovely word of hope to be found here.
    Yes! Sunday IS coming! oh but how so very hard it is sometimes to hold on to the hope that He is right there with us all the time when we are walking through the bleak moments. Yet, we stand in faith believing He will turn it around… Sunday’s Coming! Blessings to you and your family! And thank you for hosting this wonderful link up through out the years… love and hugs to you

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hey Danise! I hope you have a meaningful Easter, and that God is especially close to you. Thanks for being here. I always appreciate your words.

      Reply
  12. Karrilee Aggett

    I love you so! Sunday’s coming, my friend! Sunday is coming!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Love you, too, friend. Sunday’s comin’.

      Reply
  13. Katie Reid

    Lovely words friend.:) Looks like the retreat was great last weekend- wish I could have heard your life-giving message of being PreApproved. Hope you have a wonderful Easter celebrating what that empty tomb represents.

    Reply
  14. Lisa notes...

    Keep waiting on Sunday. Yes. That’s what we do. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

    Reply
  15. Tara Ulrich

    Loved this post! I just wrote about how you cannot experience Easter without first experiencing Maundy Thursday and Good Friday etc. Clarence W. Hall once said “Easter says you can put truth in the grave, but it wont stay there.” Sunday is indeed coming!

    Reply
  16. Lyn

    Thanks for this post Jennifer. I have been stuck on Good Friday in my life for the past 8 years. I was trying to hold on to my faith when God was so silent and all there was around me was death & loss. I have recently moved into Saturday. The agony of dying & death is over but the loss is still present in my life. Sunday has not yet come. Yearning for restoration, healing and a return to life. I would love to read your thoughts on Saturdays and how to hang on during the in-between.

    Reply
  17. Tiffany

    “My heart was smarter than my brain.” Oh yes, this! Even after all these years walking with the Lord, my brain just tries to muddle up the things that God is whispering to my heart. It travels to the worst case scenario when my heart just wants to cling to Him. Its a conscious choice I have to make to tune my heart to Jesus’ voice and shut off my busy mind. Thank you for capturing it so beautifully – I am waiting on Sunday with you.

    Reply

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