“For God so loved…” says in John 3:16

I grew up playing basketball in our fishing neighborhood with my friends. I was very excited when I was chosen to play in a basketball league in town. In the opening game, I played a playing guard position.  In the final quarter’s last few minutes, the score was tied. It’s anybody’s ball game. I remember running fast while dribbling the ball when I accidentally missed my step, resulting in a broken left arm and a knee injury. It hurts. I was taken out of the game. I was devastated. As I was seated on the bench while nursing my wounds, my teammates stepped in and won the game without me (or perhaps because I was out). I felt relieved!

Reflect on this with me for a moment. Where have you been wounded? Do we recognize this on the cross? Is Black Friday a bad day that helps us appreciate a good day on Easter Sunday? Is Christ’s dying life-giving? Do Christ’s suffering and death fulfill the giving of life abundantly?

Will you allow God to leverage your pain and suffering to bring healing and comfort to others?

To whom do you hope to share the life-giving power of Christ’s suffering and death?

Adam Hamilton reminds his readers about Jesus’ challenge. He quotes, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9:25). In his book, UNAFRAID: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times, he writes, “In this passage, Jesus offers a paradox. He says that it is in self-denial and laying down our lives that we find life.” As Christ’s followers, are we being challenged to follow the paradoxical or upside-down way of Jesus?

What if you let God convert your greatest fears into gifts and opportunities? What would it look like to allow God to leverage your greatest setbacks and turn them into your biggest setups for a better life? Are you ready to trust God to turn your wounds to heal somebody, your tragedy into someone’s triumph, and your “death” into others’ resurrection?

In this holy week, let us rejoice that we are a part of God’s team. We are a “never say die” type of team because Christ is in our corner. The Risen Christ is with us always.


Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to thee.

Take my moments and my days;

Let them flow in endless praise,

Let them flow in endless praise.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour

At thy feet its treasure store.

Take myself, and I will be

Ever, only, all for thee,

Ever, only, all for thee.