Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

When the Worst Happens...

Hi Friends,

Sometimes the worst happens. Sometimes you hope and pray and what happens is even worse than you feared.  Sometimes a dear friend gets devastating news. Sometimes a young man enters a church and lets bullets fly. People die. Hopes are crushed. And all seems lost.

Mary has been there too. Been there when her son was condemned to die, when the crowds shouted "Crucify him!" and Pilate pronounced the death sentence.  All her hopes, all her prayers, and death came anyway.

I can barely breathe when I think about it, really ponder it. So, this week, I wanted to share with you an excerpt from Wrestling with Wonder that speaks to my heart this week as I try to catch my breath  and catch of glimpse of Who God is when the worst becomes reality.

I hope you, too, will find hope and help in these words …


 Jesus had to die on a Roman cross for our sins so that we might be reconciled to God.
            There was no other way.
            Of course, Mary didn’t know that. But God did. And so do we.
            We know that the Messiah had to die a sinner’s death in our place that we might be free. From Jesus’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, we know that if there were an easier path, God would have chosen it.
            In Matthew 26, Jesus prayed: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”
            And the soldiers, crowds, and Jewish leaders came and arrested him. They bound him. They beat him. They crucified him. And it was the will of God.
            There was no other way.
            The Messiah did not ascend to an earthly throne. The religious leaders did not recognize him. He was rejected, a crown not of gold but of thorns pressed upon his head, anointed not with kingly oil but with his own blood.
            There was no other way.
            Isaiah 53:3-6 says:
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
  a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
  he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, 
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

            He was sinless, and condemned. He was lied about, and the truth didn’t prevail. He was accused, and said nothing. He was scourged, and not rescued. And then he died on a criminal’s cross.
            There was no other way.
            Because “it was the Lord’s will to crush him,” says Isaiah 53:10. There was no other way for Jesus to satisfy his Messiahship. No other way for the prophecies to be fulfilled. No other way for the promises to come true.
            No easier way for Mary to become who she was always meant to be—not just the mother of the Messiah, but the mother of the Savior.
            “God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way,” says C. S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain.
            The God who called Mary to face her worst fears is the same God who calls us. He calls in those times when the worst happens, when what we feared might happen does happen. When it seems like life has gone from bad to worse and every time we pray something even more awful happens, that is when God is saying to us:
            There is no other way.
            No other way for him to accomplish his will in your life, to make you the person you were meant to be. If this cup could pass, it would.
            But it doesn’t.

            Because this is the way. And sometimes we must walk in it, with faith, with trust, with one foot in front of the other, even when all our fears come true.


Kiersti said...

Thank you, Marlo...this is beautiful, and true, and needed as we face the "whys" of Charleston right now. Thanks for sharing.

Marlo Schalesky said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, Kiersti!

Jean Waddy said...

The value in the truths of this book is beyond measure. God gave it to you and it was published in the right time. Thanks for the nugget of truth, encouragement as we pray for a dear friend indeed.

Marlo Schalesky said...

Thanks, Jean. So glad to be joining you in prayer as the prayers are never far from my heart this week...