How do you respond when you see a situation spiral out of control? You know a proverbial train wreck is coming, and all you can do is sit idly by and wait. And wonder how things are going to turn out.
Maybe you’ve watched this in a relationship: An ugly divorce ripped a family to shreds.
Perhaps you’ve seen it in your job: Layoffs loomed, and it was a matter of time before your name was called.
Or you’ve sat with a loved one in their last days: Struggling for breath, death would be a welcome relief.
But as awful as the anticipation was, what resulted just as bad or worse. How do we as Christians hope against all hope in life’s train wrecks?
I call these train wreck situations hinge-points: from that point forward, the direction of your life changes and things are never the same.
I thought about this as I studied the account of Jesus’ crucifixion. Our Lord’s life “hinged” in the Garden of Gethsemane when He accepted the Father’s will. It “hinged” again when Pilate banged the gavel and sent Him to Calvary. It “hinged” for the last time with His last breath. Rejected, despised and alone, Jesus died and things were never the same.
But all those who knew [Jesus],
including the women who had followed him from Galilee,
stood at a distance,
watching these things.
~Luke 23:49 (NIV)
His friends watched helplessly as the train of Jesus’ life crashed and burned. Their friend and rabbi, and the Man they believed to be their Messiah, was gone and things would never be the same. For three days they grieved, questioned and doubted until they saw the empty tomb.
What they thought was the worst possible thing turned out to be an occasion for God to reveal His power and His glory. Jesus’ friends had no idea how such a horrific situation could be redeemed, but Jesus’ Father did.
Those three days in the tomb were transformational. The Lord was working in places they couldn’t see, doing things they didn’t understand, to accomplish something they couldn’t imagine.
Raised in a new body with new life, Jesus life “hinged” yet again when He stepped out of the tomb. And praise the Lord, things have never been the same.
God wants to do that in our situations too. He knows our lives will never be the same, and He sees beyond the debris of our train wrecks. Our almighty, all-wise God wants to use this hinge-point to draw us near.
- As we cry out from the charred ashes, He will cover us with His peace.
- As we look for His guidance, He will open doors of opportunity.
- As we trust Him to provide, He will creatively supply our needs.
Our transformational period will certainly be more than three days but no matter how bad it seems, KNOW that God is working. Faith is about hanging on and trusting until He accomplishes something we can’t even imagine.
And we will never be the same.