As I write this, I am here in the hospital watching my dad sleep. He is scheduled for an operation tomorrow morning and I’m here to accompany him. Earlier today he told us about how he had to rearrage the room because the small refrigirator was placed directly on the other end of the bed where the lever is. After my wife and my mom left to go home, my dad smiled at me, laid in bed, then he told me the same story about the fridge. My heart sank. Here with me, the man I wanted to become when I was a child, the person who taught me how to cook, was slowly losing his memory.
I told my wife what happened and she told me that it was bound to happen. Her father is experiencing the same thing. And her grandmother as well. But even if I know that it was true, seeing it happen to the man I admire and respect, made this reality a lot harder to accept. My father is a very intelligent man. Strong-willed, talented, kind, and loving. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t give up so easily. And seeing him in this state made me feel sad. It made me realize that no matter how great we are, there will come a time when we will reach the end of our journey. Our body will start to get weak, our memory slips from time to time, and before you know it, we’ll be in our beds, waiting to finally meet our Creator.
Jesus told the disciples a number of times on what was going to happen to him. A few of those instances can be found in the book of Matthew.
When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief. – Matthew 17:22-23
He’ll be delivered into the hands of men and be killed. But he also said that on the third day he will be raised to life. Now at this point in time, the disciples knew who Jesus was. They’ve been with him for quite some time now. They’ve seen what he can do and knew what kind of a man he was. I think its safe to assume that at this point in time, the disciples have learned to love Jesus. But even if they knew who he was, they still felt grief. Even if they knew that if there’s anyone who can raise back from the dead it was Jesus, they still felt sad. Now the question is, why?
I asked my wife about this a few days ago, and she said something that I think will help answer this. She said that maybe they felt sad because someone will betray him. And maybe she’s right. Maybe the disciples were thinking “how can someone do something bad to someone like this?” And a lot of times this is a question we ask to God. How can something so bad happen to someone who is good?
Just recently, a shooting happened inside a church. 9 people died. The world is battling China’s annual dog eating festival where citizens pull dogs away from homes and torture them, burning or boiling them alive before eating them. And ISIS continues to rage war against God and strike fear into the hearts of believers. Also a new disease called MER have just been confirmed in Thaliand. This disease killed numerous people in Korea. On top of that, we have earthquakes, hurricanes and storms among others that kills hundreds of people instantly. Why is this happening?
After Jesus died and got resurrected, he said something to his disciples that addresses this. He told his disciples what will happen to them once Jesus leaves. People will persecute them, hate them, and even kill them. He told all these things to prepare them so that they will not fall away. And then he ended his message with a message of hope.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
There are a lot of difficult things that we will experience in this world. The pain of a broken marriage, a battle with a life long diease, natural disasters, people killing people, and even the loss of a loved one. All these things at some point we will experience in our lives. It’s not even a question of why, but a question of when. (If you still want to answer yhe question why, just turn on thr tv and wstch the news. I think you’ll get the answer you’re looking for.) But Jesus tells us that even if all these things happen to us, we can find peace in him, and that we can take heart because he himself experienced the same thing and has overcome. Jesus is telling the disciples that because he has overcome, they too will overcome if they are in him. And I believe this is still true today, but the question we need to answer is, are we in him and is he in us? If you are not yet sure, then there’s no better time to act on it that today. Invite Jesus into your life. Accept him as your Lord and Savior. And you will experiece peace like never before. And you, together with Jesus, will be saved from death and be brought to life.
If this is what you want, you can say a simple prayer like this:
“Lord Jesus, I’m tired. Tired from all the pain I’m experiencing in this life, Tired from causing pain to others. I surrender my life to you. Save me from all of this. Please be my Lord and Savior. I need you in my life. Have mercy on me. Amen.”
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” – Romans 10:9-10