[Jesus speaking,] “You don’t realize what I am doing, but you will understand later”–John 13:7.
As we journey through Lent and reflect on the final days of Jesus, I see how much the disciples didn’t get it. I see how often I don’t get it. I see how many ‘its’ there are in the course of our lives. Some are ‘its‘ and some are ‘ITs‘; but they are all events or relationships in our lives that we have to figure out.
I love that Jesus finally throws His disciples a bone and doesn’t ask them to ‘get it’ at the Last Supper. So often in the Gospels, Jesus asks the disciples something that they have no clue on how to answer. Not here at the end. I love that He just flat out says that they don’t get it. I also love the hope He throws them by promising that they will eventually get it. What ‘it’ does He refer to? His betrayal, suffering, death, resurrection and how they will carry on His teachings. The next few hours promise to throw them all into confusion, retreat and panic.
Most of us have experienced what the disciples experienced during Passion Week leading to the cross and resurrection. Most of us have had days (or at least hours) of blissful running-barefoot-through-a-meadow-of-wildflowers moments, only to come crashing into a brick wall wishing-you-could-die-or-at-least-enjoy-a-coma events or relationship stress. What do we do with the confusion and panic of ‘it’?
We self-medicate–legally and illegally.
We isolate from others–physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
We create a false-story for others, and sometimes for ourselves, to believe.
Once the initial grip of shock releases, we may begin to look for solutions. We say, ‘We can figure it out, if we just put our minds to it.’ Sometimes we can figure it out. Those are usually the smaller ‘its‘. The big ‘ITs‘ rarely get figured out without help.
The disciples had each other to process through their ‘IT’ of lost expectations of political grandeur. They hoped that Jesus would overthrow Caesar, end Roman rule, and they would hold significant positions with Jesus. Ah, how lustrous power looks when daydreaming. It’s a pretty dream. But then we awaken only to find that things didn’t quite turn out the way they were supposed to in the dream. The disciples had a traumatic awakening when their rabbi, their leader, didn’t receive quite the kudos they expected. Their dream quickly turned into a nightmare.
Recently, Jud and I received some information that has us questioning how to live out certain relationships. The feelings of betrayal, anger and primal vengeance, at times, consume me. In the midst of processing through the havoc, I have prayed often, ‘It wasn’t supposed to be like this.’ And in a perfect world, I am right. However, we don’t live in a perfect world, and people sometimes act unbecomingly. How do we regroup and live through the painful choices made by others that affect our lives?
I don’t know.
Neither do you.
There are no pat answers for the ‘ITs‘ in our lives.
But while answers may elude us, perhaps we can learn to just feel the moments–feel angry, feel sad, feel confused, feel panicky. We need each other to sit and feel with us. BUT, we don’t want to stay there too long either. We also need each other to coax us out of the abyss into which ‘ITs‘ tend to plummet us.
We need to hear God’s promise that we will someday understand.
Oh, we may never understand the ‘why’ of any time in our lives. The promise isn’t that everything that happens to us magically becomes good or just. The promise is that we will understand the growth and development we need to mature into wisdom. He promises that we can heal, embrace wisdom and learn how to lead others through their times of ‘IT’.
I told Jud, “I know we’ll figure it out together. I just hate that there’s an ‘IT’ to figure out.
I’d love to hear your stories of hope and processing through life. Have you experienced a similar feeling? Life seemed to go along well and then took a turn you didn’t expect. Have you ever said, “I hate there’s an ‘IT’ to figure out.”