Archives for April 2012

Luke 22: 31-32

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.

I’ve been reflecting this past month, as have many of you I’m sure, on the Last Supper, Good Friday and the promise of Easter. This time of year challenges us to question how deeply we feel what we believe. The pain and suffering of Good Friday sheds light on our own pain and suffering in a new way. I know that I have never carried the sins of the world on my shoulders, even if I have felt as though I carried the weight of the world there.

Whether my pain is physical, mental or emotional, it can’t compare to being nailed to a cross and left there for hours to die.

Was Jesus able to endure all of that because of how deeply he loved us, or because he knew the outcome? He knew that Easter was just around the corner?

When we go through times of trial, it is easy for our faith to waver. Where is God in times of pain and suffering? Through Jesus, God understands our pain and what we’re capable (and incapable) of in times of suffering.

Listen to Jesus’ words to Peter at the Last Supper again. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

God knows that our faith will waver at times. We’re not penalized for that. He knows that Satan will sift us in the world. It’s part of His plan. So, we’re not to punish ourselves in times of questioning and doubt. God knows and loves us still.

But we are called to strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ when our trial is over and our strength is renewed. Don’t hide your pain away, swept under the rug, once that time has passed.

Share it with others that they may be strengthened by the lessons you learned and the comfort you received. For it’s the only way to squeeze honey out of the stumbling stones in our lives, and it can be a source of comfort for those who mourn and weep after you. Know that Jesus sends us out with everything we need.