A Matter of Faith: If you think you had a bad week


By Jan Davis

Special to The PREVIEW

Mark walked in the back door, threw the dirty ball cap on the bench and kicked off his work boots. “I need a warm shower and a cold glass of iced tea. Friday didn’t come soon enough.”

Mark let the hot water roll down his back as thoughts of the week surfaced. Things started out well enough on Monday, but went downhill in a hurry. The new contract looked great on paper. Everything spelled out to the “t” and a tight timetable meant things needed to go as planned.

The house inspection confirmed termites in the support beams under the front porch. A colossal hit to the budget.

Tuesday morning, a fight broke out on the work site and a couple of work hands received their final paycheck. With a shortage of manpower, the schedule took a major blow.

On Wednesday afternoon, a contractor botched an order. Delays pushed projects back even further. Time became a commodity of high demand.

By Thursday, Mark’s nerves were paper thin. He put out one fire only to have another ignite somewhere else. Hourly workers showed up to work and the time clock ticked off the minutes, while they waited on deliveries. Suppliers delivered as promised, but workers goofed off. One step forward, two steps backward.

Friday finally arrived. Payday for contractors, laborers and his own cut of the draw. The paycheck almost made up for the headaches. He put his truck in reverse and backed out the driveway. Blind-sided, Mark hit his breaks too late. The vehicle came out of nowhere. The police officer seemed nice enough, but the ticket stung. The perfect ending to a terrible week.

Mark stretched out in his favorite recliner and sipped the cold drink as he switched on the flat screen. The local weatherman smiled into the camera. “Good Friday and Easter promises to be warm and sunny. Great day for Easter egg hunts.”

“Good Friday. Hah, not from where I sit.” Mark sighed. As he relaxed his mind wondered back to last Sunday’s message and the pastor’s remarks.

“If you think you had a rough day or week, think about Christ’s final days. Nothing compares to his sufferings, physically and mentally before his crucifixion.”

The preacher’s voice resonated in Mark’s mind. “Betrayed by Judas for 30 pieces of silver. Denied by Peter three times. His best friends, co-workers and relatives ran to the bushes terrified as armed guards dragged Jesus off.”

The fake trial put things into motion. No one came to his defense to testify of his innocence.

The various legal institutions paraded Jesus before the crowds as they spit in his face and ridiculed him.

The punishment intensified. Ordered by the authorities to be beaten, soldiers displayed no mercy as they laid stripe after stripe upon his back. The angry crowd yelled “Give us Barabbas and crucify Jesus.” The final verdict — guilty, punishable by death.

The pastor continued, “Condemned to die on a cross, crucified for our sins.”

This week proved a real test to Mark’s walk with Christ. Truth, he failed miserably. He bowed his head and asked forgiveness for his crabby attitude. In the stillness, the weariness lifted.

“The story doesn’t end with his death. After three days, Jesus walked out of that tomb. Because of his resurrection, we received the promise of eternal life.” The minister paused. “Let that sink in.”

“Because He lives, we are also assured of an abundant life. Why wait for heaven to enjoy the benefits?”

Mark thought about the words of an old hymn, “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow.” Jesus paid the ultimate price and sacrificed his life for mine.

In retrospect, Mark’s week didn’t look so bad after all. Because of Jesus, life was better than he deserved.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” —Isaiah 53:5.

I love you, but Jesus loves you more.