“Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;”
(Verse 3, Amazing Grace)
Easter is about going through trials by the grace of God and arriving safely on the other side. Jesus went through death that we might go through death and live with God eternally. John Newton came to faith as he went through a huge sea storm, convinced he would die and realizing it was only by God’s grace that he lived. All of us are neither strong enough nor good enough to live forever. Yes, we might be better than some, perhaps even many others, but we are not super heroes.
Let us think back on our lives. There were those near misses as we drove. There were the fevers we recovered from. There were the threatening clouds of financial disaster that never rained. Bad things happen to good people but it also true that if we remember, a lot of surprisingly good things happened also. My friends hang in there with me on my grumpy days. That little three year old threw his arms around my neck and didn’t care that the mirror had just told me I was having a bad hair day. A friend sent me an animated “I’m thinking of you” card. All of us have been through much but we have received many blessings also.
King David wrote that beautiful Psalm 23 that helps us put words to the realization that a risen savior was with us through our days and is not some distant deity judging or waiting for us to become good enough. Circle the words that speak to you about God’s presence “through”…
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.”