Six hours… one Friday…

It’s Friday… end of the week before a busy Easter weekend.  There is so much to do and prepare and carry out.  For me, it’s a busy day at work and then off to shop for the family gathering on Sunday.  Meanwhile, the house needs to be cleaned for our guests, along with all of the regular things that need to be done – meals, laundry, etc.  It is so easy for me to get a feeling of being overwhelmed by the task list that is before me.  On top of it all, it’s been a stressful month or so, and I am just plain tired and worn out.  This is all a recipe for me to become a little whiny, grumpy, and self-absorbed.  Then I remember that six hours one Friday when Jesus died on the cross… for me.  

When I read about, think about, and remember the events of that six hours for Jesus, suddenly my six hours today seem like a walk in the park.  Oh, how I can get so caught up in my busyness and stress and tiredness that sometimes I can convince myself that I’ve got it tough right now.  Really?  Remembering the horrific death that Jesus endured for me, I need to stop and put life into perspective.  A week ago, a friend’s daughter (an old student of mine) decided to end her life in the path of a car on the freeway.  Another friend said goodbye to her 5 day old baby girl who was born without a left ventricle.  Another friend said goodbye to her dad.  Yet another friend is watching her husband suffer and slowly die as she sits by and feels helpless.  

So, let’s rewind a minute.  I have to go to work – oh ya, I have a job!  I have to shop for a family gathering – oh ya, I have money and time to go buy food… special food!  I have to clean my house and feed my family – oh ya, I have a wonderful house to live in and a wonderful family to feed!  My life has been “stressful” for the past month – hmmmm, maybe I need to redefine “stress.”  Suddenly, my six hours on this Friday, or any Friday for that matter, don’t seem quite as bad as I had them pegged to be. 

When I think about Jesus and his last six hours on this earth I am really humbled.  He chose not to save himself.  He chose not to drink anything when they offered.  He chose to endure the most horrific death imaginable.  Why?  So when I think I am suffering and struggling, I can come to him and know that he has been where I’ve been.  We all know it’s tough to relate to someone when we have not gone through what they have.  I can’t say to a friend who has lost a child that I know what they are feeling.  Or to a friend with cancer… I understand.  Until I’ve walked in their shoes and been through what they have endured, I can’t completely understand.  Jesus can.  He came to this earth as a human being so that he might know our pain and suffering.  So, when life is tough and I think I can’t handle one more thing, I can sit at his feet and know that he can completely understand.  He can honestly say that he’s been there, done that… got the t-shirt… six hours one Friday.

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