“They will kill him. But he will be raised on the third day.” And they were heartbroken.
Matthew 17: 22-23
Heartbroken. Just thinking about that word brings back the pain of a heartbreak I experienced. Maybe it also brings back painful memories for you.
Jesus has told the disciples that he will be handed over and killed, but. . . The disciples, like most of us who suffer heartbreak, stop before the but. We cannot even see the “b” of but, much less what lies beyond it. When you are in the depths, it’s hard to imagine that you will one day not be there, that you will be lifted into the light.
Jesus tells them what comes next, the life that lies beyond the but, yet they can’t hear anything past his being killed.
It is what lies beyond the but that gives us hope, that enables us to live in peace and joy despite our circumstances. Christians are Easter people, people who live with hope, with expectancy . . . people who see the but and know that there is more. Even if the but is all we see, simply seeing it enlivens us and gives us reason for praise.
It’s why I love the psalms of lament, because although they paint a picture of a terribly difficult situation, there is almost always a but, a turning point where God’s unfailing and redeeming love is acknowledged, not simply as something to come but present even in the midst of lamentable circumstances.
Experiences of heartbreak are never easy. Yet if we have experienced new life out of shattering circumstances, we can hold onto the hope that the but is not the last word. Life beyond the but is not only possible but full of promise.