We can forget what victory means to Christians. For us, our victory came from the cross. Jesus has asked that we pick up our cross and follow Him. It’s a bit confusing because He took our place, but only from the guilt of our sins. We still have to travel in His footsteps and that journey has its ups and downs to say the least.
So in seasons like this one, we celebrate moms around those who have lost their moms, or had bad relationships, or were abused, or any number of other painful memories. It’s important to find the cross in these circumstances. That doesn’t mean to try and pretend there is happiness where sadness overwhelms. God promised that all things work together for the good of those who believe in Him. Does that mean your pain is good? no! But what is important is that we find that healthy ground where we build our lives on the foundation of God and not on life’s tragedies.
Jesus died for us and we thank Him. We praise Him. We worship Him! But oh what pain He endured. That pain allowed us everything we hold dear today. The reason God can straight face to us that all things will work for good is because He endured the worst of it… and it was for OUR good. We will have our moments. God never said, ‘I will make life easy for you’. In fact, there is quite a bit of scripture that alludes to how difficult being a Christian truly is. Why? Because we will be attacked by the enemy on top of everything else life throws at us.
But we can find the cross in those moments. Instead of loathing the past, we can count each scar as a lesson learned. Instead of bottoming out in loneliness we can tribute loved ones and incorporate their great characteristics in our lives. Here is what happens if we don’t get a handle on our lives during the bad times. We end up living around the holidays. And there are a lot of holidays. Someone died on my birthday, I was injured at Christmas, I was robbed at Thanksgiving, etc. etc. etc. We can shut down, isolate, and run from each and every important date for the rest of our lives….
OR… or we could accept that what is important is God. We made those dates important for our own means. God doesn’t make us more sad on Mother’s Day. It’s just another Sunday. We immortalize the date and subject our souls to personal torment that we create. Find the cross in that day. Yes you have endured much. But next year, there is reason to enjoy the day. We are over-comers. We can’t be victorious if we let dates defeat us each year. Another tool of the enemy is the over dramatization of certain days or times that we give more meaning than others. They have only the meaning we allow them to have.
We can find ways to honor the fallen, learn from the wicked, grow from neglect, persevere through pain, and triumph over all that does not come from God. But to do that, we need to see the cross. That moment when pain and defeat turns to hope and eternity. When “it is finished” turns into “it has just begun”. When the sign over the tomb turns from “do not disturb” to “vacancy”… this is when we find our moments of the cross. This is what the cross does for us. It says that Christians win even when they seemingly lose. It means that even death is not defeat. God’s love has saved us no matter how lost we become.
I felt the need to remind us of two things that keep circling back to each other. As Christians, we will face hard, hurtful, seemingly impossible moments. We should not be shocked or disappointed when these times come. We often mention tests or trials from God. I do not believe that God does mean or hurtful things to those that He loves (to those that He gave His son for). Rather, God will help us and while He does so, we can learn from those moments. And the second thing is that we always have a way back into the light. Look to that empty cross. Recall that empty tomb. And ponder the throne that is occupied.
With God in our corner, today does not have to be a day of sadness. Sadness is not wrong, but its meant to be temporary. If you are in pain every year, every holiday, at every solemn memory… find the cross. There is victory to be had. There are healthy, proud, confident ways to move forward in honor of the past. Don’t concede your future based on today’s pain. If we do not come to terms with our past, it will consume our future. Whatever pain on whatever day, I pray you plead to God for help and seek His out on this side of heaven for the same. We want to celebrate with you the victories that you can turn your near defeats into.