When have you lost sleep over something exciting?
When I was a kid (to my parents’ detriment) I could never sleep on Christmas Eve. I was so excited! Even though I knew it was going to be great, part of why I couldn’t sleep was that I didn’t know what was coming. Would I really get what I had asked for? What else would be under the tree? Would my parents like what I got them?
As I got older, I had trouble sleeping before the SAT college entrance exam, moving into college, job interviews, my wedding day, and now I even lose some sleep when my kids are facing big, life moments. As exciting and positive as these events are, there are still feelings of nervousness, unknowing, gearing up emotionally, etc.
We can also have the same feelings in a negative way when we have fear or worry. Sometimes those feelings can even be more profound and impactful on us. Being bullied at work, school, or your neighborhood; waiting for medical test results; etc.
As Jesus went into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, I believe that He was experiencing some nervousness. You might ask, could Jesus really experience nervousness? As the crowds cheered for him on as he came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, He knew that what he was about to go through was a big moment for him. He knew that he was going to be both excited and challenged (both negative and positive). It was going to be hard, but He knew the glory that was coming through it. The Bible doesn’t say he was nervous, but it does tell us he was human and Luke 22:42 give us an invite into Jesus’ emotional state when he prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
For us, these days are challenging. Like Jesus during Holy Week, it seems to be getting more difficult as days go on. We find ourselves trying to find solutions with the balance of people’s livelihoods and lives at stake, like – how much social distancing is enough; whether or when to use certain medications; how effective are masks and how do we make enough; how we should deal with the economic fallout; how to mourn and remember our loved ones without gathering. There is a lot of nervousness right now and not the Christmas Eve type.
Being a Christian does not mean that we are immune to negative emotions, but it does mean that in the midst of those emotions you know that you can get through this because God is with you (Matthew 6:26-27; Romans 8:28)! God has brought you through 100% of the difficult times in your life and will continue to for the rest of eternity (2 Corinthians 12:9-10; James 1:2-3; Romans 5:3-5). Through all of the emotions, challenges and pain, God is building you up; either making you, or perfecting you (Jeremiah 18:1-4). In life and death, nervousness or calm – God will NEVER fail you!
Scriptures and songs:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.