Ever have one of those days where everything seems to go wrong. Those days when all hope seems to be lost?
November 2012, I was still on an internship for Huntington University. For me it was evaluation weekend. The weekend that a professor came down and observed how I was doing and gave me the grade that he thought I deserved, based on interviews with others and my performance within the ministry. Let’s just say that it was not a pretty sight. We sat down and chatted when it was all said and done and he pretty much stated “You’re not cut out for this.” That moment when everything changed for the worse. I no longer felt motivated to be at that ministry, yet at the same time I wanted to prove my professor wrong. That I could do this, that I could be successful in a ministry setting.
Yet the next semester goes by, and I can’t seem to find a job. I looked at all sorts of internships and fellowships that I could do, but nothing seemed to fit or else I got turned down. Through a friend I found out about Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis applied for a fellowship position and prayed real hard. I got the chance to go, but not for the year-long fellowship like I was hoping for. Still it changed my life in a way I will never forget. But now I am at square one all over again. Right back in that same position I was in at the end of the semester only this time, I have to start paying back those loans I took out for college.
I felt like I was doubting my call to ministry, maybe my professor was right maybe I wasn’t cut out for this. Yet if this is not what I am supposed to do then what is?
Much of what you just read was a draft that I wrote on one of the days when I felt like all hope was lost in finding a ministry. When I thought that God had gone silent and wasn’t answering. I can only imagine what the disciples had to be feeling as these events were happening.
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).
There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”
In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ “In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
I’m sure that all hope for them had gone out the window. Many had forgotten the words that Jesus would raise from the dead, as they often misunderstood what Jesus taught. They may have thought that they hadn’t signed up for this and that they weren’t cut out to deal with what had just happened. The next day was the Sabbath and as Jews they would go to the Temple then the probably stuck together in a room somewhere within Jerusalem or in Bethany where they had been staying for the week. No doubt that they reminisced about the past three years the highs, the lows, the time that this happened and that happened.
What they don’t know is that It’s still only Friday, The best is yet to come.
Stick around this weekend. Something will be posted each day cultivating on Monday with the Message that I have been asked to give at my church’s Easter Sunrise service that will end this year’s version of Journey to the Cross.