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Last week (Holy Week) was a struggle… Even though by now I know feelings aren’t facts, I was struggling. I could feel the familiar pang of inadequacy settling in my chest.

The weight of the world felt real… my own struggles with feeling judged, misunderstood, alone, rejected, and hurt, seemed to press down on me with renewed force.

All week, I tried to pray and press through… at the end of the week, I went to church for the Good Friday service, I sat there… distracted, my thoughts running a thousand different directions… then at the end of service, the song “Above all” by Michael W. Smith came up and all the sudden I felt utterly convicted. Here I was, sitting at church, feeling sorry for myself, then I realized the truth- How could my petty grievances even compare to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus?

It’s was not a competition or a comparison of suffering, but a testament to the depth of His love.  It was all so clear! He chose the path of pain, the ultimate act of selflessness, so that I wouldn’t have to walk it alone.  He chose me, with all my flaws and imperfections, worthy of such a sacrifice.

The song served me as a loving reminder that cut through the fog of my doubts and insecurities. “Above all powers,” it sings, “above all kings…”  Yes, above all my struggles, my pain, even my very best efforts, stands the sacrifice of Jesus. It was a beautiful moment,  instead of the pain I was feeling, something else surfaced – a wave of gratitude washed over me.

Maybe that’s the point.  Maybe the discomfort, the struggles, are a way for me to participate, in a miniscule way, in the story of redemption.  Maybe they’re a chance to mirror, even faintly, the unwavering love that led Jesus to the cross.

He, the one “Above all powers,” the one who existed before time itself, chose to walk among us. He chose to endure rejection, to be mocked and scorned. He chose the agony of the cross, a physical embodiment of the emotional and spiritual torment He shouldered for our sake.

The image of the rose, “trampled on the ground,” resonated deeply. Jesus wasn’t some distant deity; He felt the sting of betrayal, the crushing weight of isolation. Yet, even in that moment of profound suffering, the song reminds us, “You took the fall and thought of me.”

Here’s the truth that stings: He couldn’t conquer death without tasting it first. He couldn’t conquer death without experiencing it himself. His resurrection, the cornerstone of our faith, wouldn’t have been possible without the excruciating path to the tomb. We celebrate Easter, the glorious victory of Jesus’ resurrection. Yet, that victory wouldn’t exist without the excruciating path that led there – the cross.

He didn’t conquer death from a place of comfort and ease. The song paints a raw picture: “Crucified, laid behind a stone… You lived to die, rejected and alone.”  He willingly embraced suffering, the ultimate rejection, the crushing weight of human sin, for a purpose far greater than any earthly comfort. He chose this suffering. Not for the grandiose display, but for me and for YOU.  For the very person who forgets this truth, who shrinks back from discomfort when called to serve.

It’s a humbling thought. My struggles, while they feel real and painful, are temporary blips in the grand scheme of things. But within them lies an opportunity. When discomfort arises, when I’m called to serve in a way that feels challenging, it’s a chance to remember the depth of His love.

Here’s the truth that cuts deepest – He chose it for me.  He chose the pain, the humiliation, the agony, for someone who feels inadequate, who stumbles through life, who gets hurt and hurts others.  “There’s no way to measure what You’re worth,” the song says, and it’s true.  His love is beyond comprehension.

Remembering this, a flicker of hope ignites within.  Maybe my struggles, though seemingly insignificant compared to His, have a purpose. Maybe the discomfort I experience in serving Him is a tiny echo of the sacrifice He made.  Maybe the very things that make me feel inadequate are the battlegrounds where His strength shines brightest.

Maybe that’s the point.  Maybe they are a way for me to participate, in a miniscule way, in the story of redemption.  Maybe they’re a chance to mirror, even faintly, the unwavering love that led Jesus to the cross.

Perhaps, just perhaps, He sees the potential hidden beneath the layers of doubt and fear.  He sees the person He created me to be, the one who can rise above, who can choose love in the face of rejection, who can offer forgiveness where I’ve been trespassed against.

He didn’t need to die. Yet, He chose the cross, the ultimate act of love that conquered death itself. He chose me. He chose YOU. In the face of inadequacy, He sees our potential. In the midst of rejection, He offers unwavering acceptance. In the depths of our hurt, He extends a hand of healing, marked by the scars of His own sacrifice.

“Above All” isn’t just a song about His power; it’s a testament to the depths of His love. A love that compels us to rise above our limitations, to step into the uncomfortable, knowing that He walks beside us, bearing the marks of a battle He fought and won – for us.

So, the next time I feel inadequate, alone, or hurt, I’ll choose to remember the cross…John 15:13 says: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. HE DID AT THE CROSS FOR ME and FOR YOU!  

I can hear HIS whisper in my heart- Next time you feel judged, misunderstood, rejected or hurt…would you lay down your pride, your need, your want, your opinion, your comfort for the person in front of you? Would you do it for me? In obedience to me?

Next time, I’ll remember the scars on His hands, a constant reminder that His love surpasses all understanding, and that even in the midst of my struggles, He is with me, “Above All.”

That’s the overwhelming grace that washes over me as I sit here.  Even in the midst of my struggles, I am chosen.  Loved.  Not because of what I’ve done, but because of the immense love that resides within Him.

So, this Easter season, I choose to hold onto this truth.  When the weight of the world feels crushing, when the path seems too difficult, I’ll remember the song, the sacrifice, the unwavering love.  And I’ll choose to walk on, knowing that He walks beside me, every step of the way.  And because of that, there is hope, even on the darkest days. There is strength in knowing I am chosen, loved, and never alone.  Above all!