History is full of dark days. Everyone has them. Some of them feel unspeakable. The darkest days, however, have one thing in common: hope has been severely damaged or lost. Imagine your worst possible day. Now triple it—at least. I believe that’s what the greatest man to ever live, Jesus Christ, experienced one very bad Friday to a degree that no one can fully understand. He was killed because of us. We looked Love in the eye and demanded He be crucified. It seemed hope was lost for all humanity. But what can be good about a day when hope is lost? Maybe the only good thing about Good Friday is the story of redemption—the story of hope. And maybe the good news about hope is that if it can be lost, it can also be found. I know this firsthand.
I will never compare my momentary struggles to Jesus dying on the cross, but I have had some dark moments in my life. In 2013, I was in my mid-twenties, and I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was desperately seeking hope. Later, I was reaching out to God again when we found out we were unable to have more kids like we thought. I suffered all kinds of horrible panic attacks that weren’t letting up. What was wrong with me? I felt that I kept going from dark moment to dark moment. When would it end? Where was my hope?
Have you ever gone through a dark moment of your own, looking for any glimpse of hope? You didn’t see it coming. You didn’t expect how bad and dark it could get. Yet, it came, and just like that, your world was turned upside down. And here’s the strange part. In the middle of the darkness, my hope was found. It wasn’t my own hope that I’d get better or that everything would be okay. It was deeper. My hope was in Jesus. And when your hope is in Jesus, He will make something beautiful out of your pain. After all, He made something beautiful out of the worst day in history through the power of the resurrection.
Here’s the thing. I connected with Jesus more deeply because He connected with me in my darkest moments. I’m a stronger person now. He’s shaped my heart for the things that touch His. In spite of—and because of—my darkest moments, we are better friends, and my life is filled to the brim with hope. I can see how God repurposed these things so as to take my joy to the next level. I see things I didn’t see before, and I appreciate His plan for what it is. It’s His plan, not mine. I’m sure of the hope I have in Christ, and I’m convinced there is no greater gift!
My darkest struggles have brought me closer to Christ, and for that, I am only grateful. I don’t have to understand every chapter to appreciate the bigger story God’s writing through my life. And thanks to what Jesus did on Good Friday, I’m written into His book of eternal life. According to 1 John 2:2, what Jesus did is not just for me, it’s available to the whole world. Now that is a truly good Friday!
When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s. 1 John 2:2 MSG