Last night we decided to order take-out from a local pizzeria. We wanted to do our part to support a small business during COVID.
And I wanted a night free from meal prep.
My husband went in the other room to place the call. Returning moments later, he explained that the pizzeria was offering just 5 pies, each with its own pre-determined set of toppings.
We wouldn’t be getting our usual pizza, customized with our favorite combinations of toppings.
A small disappointment, manageable in light of some of the bigger disappointments we and the rest of the world have faced in recent weeks.
All of this giving-up has opened my eyes to what a rich, rich life we have led up to now.
No, we are not wealthy as some count wealth. But we have led a life full of choice and opportunity, something I so clearly took for granted.
There was a time, not so many weeks ago, when I could pop into the grocery store whenever I wanted. If I timed it right, I could be in and out in 15 minutes with fresh, and sometimes exotic, ingredients in hand.
I could meet a friend after work for coffee – or happy hour.
Or, I could write in the quiet of the afternoon before either my husband or our youngest daughter returned home for the day.
I could hike local trails, walk along the beach, or visit with neighbors without mentally calculating the distance between us.
I could hug my sister.
So much we have had to release, to let go of.
Many have had to post-pone weddings.
Soon-to-be mothers have had to forego the usual support of spouse, friend, or doula in the birthing room.
High school seniors are grappling with the loss of prom. And graduation ceremonies.
All of this during Lent, a season of sacrifice and self-denial. A season leading up to Good Friday.
Ever wonder why it’s called good?
There is the obvious reason of the blood-bought grace, mercy and salvation of Jesus Christ. And that is enough.
More than enough.
But our God is a God of abundance and I’m beginning to understand that there is so much more to the goodness of Good Friday.
As Jesus hung dying, bloodied and beaten, things looked pretty bleak. I can imagine His disciples feeling confused thinking, “This is not how the story was supposed to go!”
But despite the disciples’ confusion, despite the devastating horror of the circumstances, God was not idle.
Our God, the God who never sleeps, He was actively bringing about His will. By His great power He was diligently working to achieve His good purposes.
I think that might be some of where the good of Good Friday comes from. The hope that, regardless of what we see, God is at work in the unseen, using all things to bring forth His good will.
So today, and in the days ahead, may you and I take hope in the knowledge that despite our circumstances, despite our confusion over the unexpected turn the story has taken, God continues to use every bit of it for good.
He wastes nothing. Nothing.
Sweet friend, may you rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the goodness of Good Friday.
We have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.1 John 2:1-2