If you’ve ever lost a family pet, you understand. It’s awful. It began an ordinary Tuesday morning with me picking up my grandson at my daughter’s house. Their dog Hunter, a sweet year and a half old 70 pound yellow lab came in from outside and we all knew something was immediately wrong. Our son in law rushed Hunter to the emergency vet clinic only to find out that he was dying, surgery was not an option, and he was in tremendous amount of pain. After hearing the news, we all raced to the vet to be with him in his final moments. Seemingly without warning and within a few hours Hunter was gone.
While I was driving home I began to cry out “I hate death!” The sobs were so deep as I just kept saying, “I hate death!”
Later that evening I was reflecting on the events of the day. My lent devotional scripture was Revelations 21:4,, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” There will come a day when we will say “O death where is your victory. O death where is your sting.” Jesus has won!
But today friends my heart was broken. God hates death, suffering, disease, pain, starvation, injustice and loss and in that moment I realized something profound. I was mourning the very things that break God’s heart and I saw in a new and deeper way why Jesus willingly went to the cross. With each lash He received, with each nail that pierced his flesh it was for the sin that brought suffering and death into the world.
The season of Lent is a time of preparation and reflection leading up to Holy Week when we as Christians remember the cross and celebrate the resurrection. During this season of lent I encourage you to lean into the sorrow, the heartbreak, the injustice, the suffering allowing God to break your heart with the things that break His. In doing this, I believe the cross and resurrection will have a deeper and more powerful impact on our lives.
From my heart to yours,