In some sense, we never will understand nor fully explain why our lives must contain pain and despair. No matter how earnest our prayers, no matter how penetrating or intelligent our questions, we will not ever thoroughly know why. But we live surrounded by God-made paradoxes—statements or beliefs that seem contradictory or in opposition to common sense but are still true. We know that in the spring, the delicate shoots of flowers will break through the soil left hard from the winter’s snow and ice. . . . And we know that our scrapes and cuts and bruises—as well as most of our minor and major surgeries—usually will enter the miraculous process of healing. We have witnessed these God-created processes whereby hurt leads to healing, practice to proficiency, and despair to hope.
—John R. Wimmer, Blessed Endurance: Moving Beyond Despair to Hope (Upper Room Books, 2018)
When have you experienced a God-made paradox? Join the conversation.
When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
—1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Healing God, when we feel alone, hurt, or misunderstood, assure us of your presence and companionship as you guide us toward a more abundant life. Amen. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
“Hymns embed faith into the marrow of the soul,” Rev. Dr. James C. Howell writes in Unrevealed Until Its Season: A Lenten Journey with Hymns. Howell believes in the power of song to teach spiritual truths. His newest book takes us on a 40-day journey through well-loved hymns. Learn more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.