Pastor in the Pasture: Sunsets and Sunrises
It’s the end of the day and the sun is setting. All of the chores have been done, ensuring good care for livestock, both great and small. Horses in their stalls pick through hay in mangers that are stuffed to the brim. There’s those steers on feed down in the water lot going between feed trough and hay ring. Even the chickens have been shut up and roosting in their coop for protection against predators.
It’s been one of those rough days and you’re more than glad to see it over. There was that heifer that didn’t make it during calving today even though you tried everything to save her from her predicament. The feed truck broke down and looks like it’s going to need a new starter. On top of all of this the sheriff’s department called and reported some of your yearlings out on the county road. After getting all of them back in and the fence patched you were ready to call it a day.
You finally get to the house, pull your boots off and there’s a message on the answering machine. It was the banker and he wants to meet with you. You’ve been a little behind on some payments and have been working extra hard to catch up on them. Things sure seem dismal and you’re discouraged.
Some days it just seems hopeless.
I know that’s what Jesus’ disciples were feeling after they had witnessed the Crucifixion. They were feeling hopeless, no doubt. The nails had been driven into hands and feet. They saw it happen, heard the ring of steel striking steel, and watched the pain He endured. They saw Him die, taken down and carried away to the tomb where He was laid and the entrance sealed by a huge stone.
The sun finally set on that painful and sorrow filled day. The disciples were feeling hopeless. They were grief stricken and mourning the death of the One that had chosen them, taught them, performed miracles in front of them, and loved them in the midst of their sin. However, now they were hopeless without Him.
Our nation and world have been hit hard with uncertainty and fear about a pandemic in our midst. Along with the concerns about the pandemic have come economic hardships, job losses, and keeping distance between ourselves and others. It feels like we’re trapped with a huge stone blocking our way out. It has brought about hopelessness in some.
Oh, but the sunrise is coming!
“Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.” (Matthew 28:1-6 NASB)
The disciples would all soon know that the Son had risen! They would witness and see the risen Lord Jesus. They would speak with Him, walk with Him, eat with Him, and touch Him. They would know and see that there was hope; great hope!
We have the same hope that the disciples had with the resurrected Jesus among them. As we face trials and hardships in life and on the ranch we also may have fears and uncertainty of disease and calamities. However, we have certainty and hope that is in Christ Jesus. The stone has been rolled away. This stone that is before us now in the form of a pandemic will be rolled away too.
As you celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ this Easter, find great hope in Him and as you read scriptures like these:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,” (1 Peter 1:3-4 NASB)
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NASB)
I’ll see y’all out in the pasture!
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