Today in worship service Pastor Mark was preaching from John 20, when Jesus comes to the disciples after His resurrection. The disciples had all disappeared during Jesus’s trial and execution. And after His death, they were consumed with fear, huddled together, hiding in a locked room. Jesus came into the room and all He said was, “Peace be with you.” He had died a horrific death and these men, His closest friends, had betrayed and deserted Him. He didn’t blame them, He wasn’t disappointed in them, He just forgave them. Likewise He forgives me, even when I don’t ask for forgiveness. This kind of love is overwhelming.
I cried thinking about this kind of love. I had one of those moments of clear thinking, when everything came together. God has blessed me so abundantly. The sorrows I have experienced have only brought me to a deeper need for and an understanding of the Gospel. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through this life without faith. Sorrow would just be sorrow without the Gospel as a roadmap. Without God, it would have no meaning.
And likewise, I wouldn’t “get” the Gospel the same way if I hadn’t walked through the hard stuff with God to lean on. The Gospel is so real to me, so much comfort. As I study and learn, my understanding deepens. The meaning of the Gospel would not be so profound without what I have experienced in life.
Again, I thought about Mike, how I prayed and prayed that the Lord would spare his life and that the Lord would bring him to faith. Mike lost his life, but not his soul. He became a believer in the final weeks of his life. My heart hurts because I miss Mike. But my belief in God soars because He did something much more important than sparing Mike’s life. This kind of love is overwhelming.