Day 40 ~ Joy Comes in the Morning

It’s always bitter sweet to come to the end of a Lenten series, but this year has been personally impactful in ways I never anticipated. I knew trying to write something new each day would be impossible in addition to the work of being a full-time graduate student, but if I’m completely honest here, writing for 40 days through the season of Lent has come to be so much more than providing a devotional thought for each day. It ‘s been a way to connect with others on their own spiritual journey, as we meet up and travel the road together for a bit, and I really didn’t want to miss out on that.

So I sort of tried to fit the round peg of Lenten blogging into the square hole of reposting earlier entries. It hasn’t been ideal, but it has served its purpose of keeping my heart focused on the steps of Jesus, and also finding connection with others in a very busy season of life.

The “personally impactful in ways I never anticipated” part has come in taking a look in the rearview mirror of the  last 8 years. In the process of going back to find corresponding posts for each day, I have now revisited 200 unique and personal stories, each honest attempts to communicate God’s love through every circumstance, and let’s face it….there have been some doozies!

This unintended review of undoubtedly the hardest years of our lives has brought up lots of feelings and memories and memories of feelings, but most of all, it’s been a banner, emblazened across the sky of my heart that reads of God’s unrelenting faithfulness to me and my family. 

So, on this last day of Lent….when Jesus had sacrificed all, taking on our sin, our grief and our sorrows as his own, I am finding myself wanting to linger here. For several days, the scripture about weeping only lasting for a night – or a season – with the promise of joy coming “in the morning” has been rolling around in my head. Jesus was in the tomb for three days before the morning resurrection that we now celebrate with such joy, and we miss something so important if we just hop over this part on our way to the celebration.

The way I know that Jesus understands what it’s like to be afraid, betrayed, abandoned and alone is because he was too. Not only knowing that, but also being aware of his presence in every moment of my own journey – especially the worst ones – has been life to me.

We never know how long our “night of weeping” may last – for some it seems to be unrelenting with no end in sight, and if this is you, I want you to know that I see you….I know how hard it is to keep waiting….there is hope ahead….and you are very loved right where you are!

What this looking-back Lenten series has shown me is that my own night has begun to see the beginnings of dawn, and the joy that I once found so elusive and impossible to imagine is closer than I ever would have believed.

This is the power of the resurrection, friends!

Tomorrow is Easter and we will celebrate the joy that comes in the morning, as we should! But it wouldn’t feel right to end this Day 40 and this 2021 Lenten series without also sending loads of love and encouragement to those of you who can’t fathom feeling joy in this season of your life. It’s you to whom I have always been drawn and for you that I continue to pray.

We may not know how long our night seasons will last, but we can look to the resurrection for assurance that morning will absolutely come!

Because of Love and Mercy,

Shellie ♥ 

 

 

 

Christ Be Magnified

Cody Carnes

Were creation suddenly articulate
With a thousand tongues to lift one cry
Then from North to South and East to West
We’d hear Christ be magnified

Were the whole earth echoing His eminence
His name would burst from sea and sky
From rivers to the mountain tops
We’d hear Christ be magnified

Oh! Christ be magnified
Let His praise arise
Christ be magnified in me
Oh! Christ be magnified
From the altar of my life
Christ be magnified in me

When every creature finds its inmost melody
And every human heart its native cry
Oh then in one enraptured hymn of praise
We’ll sing Christ be magnified

Oh be lifted high, Jesus
Oh! Christ be magnified
Let His praise arise
Christ be magnified in me
Oh! Christ be magnified
From the altar of my life
Christ be magnified in me

I won’t bow to idols, I’ll stand strong and worship You
And if it puts me in the fire, I’ll rejoice ’cause You’re there too
I won’t be formed by feelings, I hold fast to what is true
If the cross brings transformation then I’ll be crucified with You

‘Cause death is just the doorway into resurrection life
And if I join You in Your suffering then I’ll join You when You rise
And when You return in glory with all the angels and the saints
My heart will still be singing and my song will be the same

Oh! Christ be magnified
Let His praise arise
Christ be magnified in me
Oh! Christ be magnified
From the altar of my life
Christ be magnified in me
Oh! Christ be magnified
Let His praise arise
Christ be magnified in me
Oh! Christ be magnified
From the altar of my life
Christ be magnified in me

Songwriters: Cody Carnes / Ethan Hulse
Christ Be Magnified lyrics © Capitol Cmg Paragon, Be Essential Songs, Writers Roof Publishing
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