I’m still wrestling with the same demons as I was back in December. Some days are better than others, but most of the time, the struggle is very real.
So this was on my mind as I finalized the notes for a talk I’m giving today.
With each presentation I give, the Spirit moves me to talk about certain people. And I don’t always know the reason why.
For this talk, He wanted me to focus on the Woman at the Well (John 4:1-42), Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18) and St. Paul (Acts 9:1-22).
As I reflected on these Biblical figures, I realized that they all encounter Jesus when they least expect it.
- The woman at the well had been married multiple times, was currently living with someone out of wedlock, had been shunned by her community, and felt cloaked in sin and shame.
- Mary Magdalene’s life was in shambles. She had witnessed Jesus ’crucifixion and death. She had lost the one who cast the 7 demons from her. She brought her heavy heart to the tomb to process her sorrow and grief.
- St. Paul was on the way to Damascus to murder more Christians. His anger and hatred consumed his life.
And Jesus met all three of them where they were on the journey. In the middle of the mess. And loved them through it.
So, just like our ancestors in faith, encountering Jesus can happen to us too when we least expect it…even in our sin and shame….our sorrow and grief…..our hatred and anger. He meets us where we are…no matter how messy or stormy our lives can be.
He’s walking with me through my mess….through my sin and shame….my sorrow and grief….my anger and rage. And He loves me through it. Even when I least expect it.
Holy Week begins tomorrow. And we get the opportunity to, once again, walk with Jesus through the mess of His betrayal, suffering and death. Can we meet Him where He is? And love Him through it so He knows He’s not alone? He does it for us time and time again; perhaps it’s time to return the favor.
Deborah Gretzinger (No R.E. Gretz)