Like so many others, I found myself sitting in front of my television on Monday night, watching the news organizations play the scenes of the Boston marathon bombing over and over and over again.

Senseless. Startling. Horrific.

And it’s hard to get those images out of our heads. The people running and the rescuers trying to do their best to help and the smoke and the chaos. It’s hard to grasp the damage to people and families and communities. And hard to grasp how God could work in the middle of this unimaginable suffering.

Like God so often does, He had perfect timing with something I’ve been reading. Here is what author Debra Reinstra had to say in her book, “So Much More”, regarding suffering:

“Faced with such terrible sorrows, how do we find a way to go on? Out of the depths of the agonized cries of “Why?” Christian faith again invites us to choose against the futility either of retaliation or self-destruction and to lay our pain instead at the foot of the cross. We are invited to shout or whisper or weep out our cries of pain to God because we know that God, having suffered in the person of Jesus, most especially on the cross, cares and understands. Bringing our suffering to God may not relieve the hurt completely, and it may not take the cause of suffering away. But the promise of the cross for the present is that the quality of our suffering will change because we will find the companionship of Jesus in it. That companionship allows our suffering to take on new shape; the downward slope of death turns to the rising hope of new life. Because Jesus suffered death on the cross, then conquered death through resurrection, our suffering too becomes pliable hope. Our dark caves can begin to crack open and let in that resurrection light”.

Praying that the victims, the people of Boston, and really, all of us, find the promise of the cross and the companionship of Jesus in this dark cave.

Those who sow in tears will reap in joy. Psalm 126:5

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9







It’s one of those times in life when so many people I know are facing difficult times. Illness, personal and relational struggles, financial challenges and more. Their journeys are hard, and answers and relief seem far away.

I heard this song yesterday.  It’s a good one. It’s a song about resolve in the middle of the storms and the tempests and the trials. And it says it much better than I ever could.

Be encouraged.

May your journey bring a blessing. May you rise on wings of faith.

Jesus draw me ever nearer,
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
And I’ll follow, though I’m worn.
Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.
Let the treasures of the trial,
Form within me as I go.
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.
May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.
“Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer” 
Music by Keith Getty;  Words by Margaret Becker                                                                                       
Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music


So I read the end of the story yesterday.

And the great and amazing and makes-me-smile part of reading the end of the story yesterday was that I read it on Easter morning.

Since January, I’ve been reading through the Bible.  I’ve written about it before – the “Through the Bible in 90 Days” reading plan.  And this year, Day 90 for me fell on Easter Sunday.  Maybe it was coincidence.  But I know that God knew that when I got to those last few chapters in Revelation about how the final victory plays out, I’d be reading it on the day we celebrate the victory that happened on the cross.

And it all made sense.  I knew about Revelation, but reading it on Easter made me think of it in a new and fresh way.

Because of Calvary, the end of the story is possible. Reunions with saints who have gone before us. Satan and evil destroyed.  Tears wiped away and suffering gone…forever.  A new heaven and a new earth.  Eternity with God.

Maybe I’ll make it a tradition to read the end of the story on Easter.  And be reminded once again that the grave was not the end.  The cross was not the end.

Easter morning was just the beginning.

Behold I make all things new. (Revelation 21:5)

And there shall be no more curse… (Revelation 22:3)

They shall see His face…(Revelation 22:4)

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”.  And let him who thirsts come.  Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.  (Revelation 22:17)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen.  (Revelation 22:21)