Last night as James prayed over our family, friends, and fears, he asked God to help keep us from distractions so we may remember what this week is all about. And I am going to be fully transparent and confess to you that only two days into Holy Week, after finding so much joy in Palm Sunday and our little quarantined couch communion, my brain had been filled — no consumed — by laundry, Bob Goff, Tucker’s newly discovered seasonal allergies, and counting how many days worth of Special K cereal we have on our counter.
If I were the enemy, this is exactly what I would have hoped for during the time of year when people are much more open to and excited to talk about Jesus. Less celebration. More distraction. Less “He.” More “I.”
But the enemy never wins, okay? Somebody tell him.
So today I’m thankful for a husband who continues to point me back to the Lord, but even more so for the truth that the God I serve knows only how to triumph. May we celebrate His victory over the grave and also over our hearts and all the ways we are prone to wander.
As we observe the hump day of Holy Week, I find myself giggling yet again at my idea of what Jesus did on that Wednesday. You see, we know on Sunday He entered Jerusalem, riding into an exciting welcome party. On Monday He flipped tables, angry at the commercialization of the temple. On Tuesday He was faced with many questions, as people tried to expose Him as a fraud; spoiler alert – He was not, is not, nor will He ever be a fraud.
But what did He do on Wednesday?
The Bible doesn’t clearly tell us this answer. Perhaps I shouldn’t care about it as much as I do, but I like answers. That’s why I ask so many questions. I’m thankful we will have all of eternity to be with God, because I will most likely need that time for my questions. I love the details of a story, and yes, this includes those of that mysterious Wednesday.
I’ve spent a good bit of time in God’s Word, blogs, and my own thoughts trying to determine what He was up to on that day. And I’m pretty confident when I tell you He probably took a nap. Look, I know we as believers should joyfully run on mission to be used in the building of His kingdom. But sometimes, it can be just as holy for us to take a nap. Even God rested after He spent six days breathing the earth and all that we are into existence. He had to rest for all that was to come. Jesus had to rest for the big, emotional weekend ahead of him. And things had already started out pretty heavily. If I had three three big days in a row like Jesus did… If the people I love went from celebrating with me to doubting me and betraying me in a span of 72 hours… I would need a big ole’ siesta. If I spent three days working to prove myself to everyone, I would be exhausted.
That was super convicting to type. If I spent three days working to prove myself to everyone, I would be exhausted. I wish this next sentence wasn’t true, but I promised transparency. I have spent almost 25 years trying to prove myself. Honestly, just trying to prove that I am simply enough. Kind enough. Beautiful enough. Successful enough. Joyful enough. A good enough friend and daughter. And most recently, a good enough wife. And it is no surprise that I never seem to measure up. Ever. This is not news to me; it is precisely why I know I need Jesus. The One who would prove Himself to be who He says He is only four days later. Who proved to be enough, so I don’t have to.
This is the biggest thing I have struggled with in my walk with Christ. I believe, with confidence, that when He pushed up on his nail-pierced feet and said, “it is finished,” that He meant it. That because He rose three days later, I don’t have to try to prove myself, because He now reigns forever and even lives in me. The thing that my head gets but my heart still puts up a fight about is that there is truly nothing I can do to prove myself to be enough, because I will never measure up. And even trying to is an exhausting and emotional roller coaster. It was emotional for Jesus — so emotional in fact, that on Thursday He sweat so intensely that blood dripped from his face, as He prayed about what it would actually take to prove Himself. It was emotional for Him to anticipate that, and it was surely exhausting for Him to try to prove Himself in other ways during the days before.
So I think on Wednesday, He probably chose to nap. I think He chose to rest for all that was to come that weekend. The most significant battle in history; the victory that we can rest in. A battle, a victory, and a rest, all wrapped up in the greatest gift of God’s love.
Truthfully, this month of marriage has looked a lot like my walk with Christ. J has already proved his love for me, a love that he has promised my dad means, “no take backs, no returns, no exchanges.” And you know, there should undoubtedly be a restfulness that comes with that, for we have a whole lot to look forward to together.
But as I do, I spend too much of my time trying to prove myself to be a good enough wife. I mean, I have actually worn an apron, made tomato soup from scratch, and bought a meat thermometer. This morning I even chose not to tell him he left the yogurt out on the counter again. Please mark those stars on my good wife chart, J!
Except he doesn’t keep track of things like that. He also doesn’t keep track of the times when I have to take a star off my pretend chart, as tears of failure roll down my face. Like the time I got paint on our new couches or chose to give him the silent treatment for 24 hours because he unknowingly hurt my feelings. (Did I mention I’m killin’ this whole graceful wife thing?)
But he lives by the truth that love is not a record of rights and wrongs. And he doesn’t measure how good enough of a wife I am with pretend stars. He seems to have figured all of this out long ago. He can rest in love and all that it is.
I, on the other hand, have no idea what I’m doing. **Cue my brain trying to be restful enough.** May I continue to be taught and reminded what this kind of rest looks like with Jesus, and what it looks like with my husband. I love that God gave us this gift of marriage to learn how to love Him more. Luckily, we still have time.
After all, we’re not even through chapter 1.
So Happy Holy Week hump day.
It’s okay if you are also still learning what love really is and how to rest in it.
James is a good example of what love looks like.
Jesus is a better example.
May I find rest in these truths.
And like Jesus, I think I’ll choose to nap today.