Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith~more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire~ may be found to result in praise and glory an honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with JOY that is inexpressible and filled with glory 1Peter 1:3-8
Bill asked me one morning this week, “What do you think people mean when they say, ‘Happy Easter'” ? I thought for a moment and then we talked about the casualness of that phrase. What is Easter? and How do you have a “happy” one? I don’t know, but it did get me thinking then for the rest of the week about Easter and what it meant for us this year..different than any other year. Certain in my mind that “happy” would not be the first word I could use to describe it…not really. This last week, following the celebration of Warren’s 1st birthday in heaven, has been difficult and the heaviness in my heart has been hard to shake. I can’t explain how that ‘heaviness’ is always there, but not…Some moments in my day are busy and my mind has ‘normal’ thoughts and concerns, like grocery shopping or doing laundry, and although these things do remind me of my great loss, God shows up, pours out His Grace on me, and gives my emotions a break, a kind of rest. I am grateful for those moments…However, this week, I felt like I had more “fake it till you make it” days.
As we approached Good Friday, I began asking God to make Easter and it’s true meaning come ALIVE for me, in me. I knew it was more than easter baskets, candy, and gifts…But how much more? I began to search scripture and as usual, God had some things to teach me.
We are grieving, still…only putting out one easter basket this year, buying only one child’s favorite candy hurts all over my entire body. Having to be so intentional about how we fill our weekend with activity, just so that we don’t find ourselves sitting around here sad and crying all weekend is pure exhaustion. Crying out, wishing Warren were here…I can’t even explain that kind of cry. And then I was reminded of how Jesus cried out to His Father…He cried loudly, with tears to His Heavenly Father, who was more than able to save Him from death…but instead Jesus learned obedience through His suffering. Through His obedience in suffering, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Heb. 5:7-9) Thank you Jesus! I can cry out to you and you hear me and you more than understand my pain and suffering.
We wonder every day, why Warren? Why our family? Why did God choose to work good from our family’s tragedy…Surely Warren, being here could have brought Him glory…why not a miracle in that hospital room? We would certainly have given all the praise and honor and glory to God!! Jesus too asked for an alternate plan. He prayed asking that there be another way, besides the the cross, to bring about salvation. He knew it was possible, but ultimately, He said, “Not what I will, but what you will”. (Mark 14:36)
God could have swooped down that horrific day and saved Warren, but instead Warren has been made perfect through the sacrifice of Jesus… and I am left here to proclaim: Jesus Is Better…not our will but yours O God. The bible says that His thoughts are higher than ours, His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-11) Learning to trust this with my whole heart. I must believe! Thank you Jesus for the cross and Your obedience even unto death.
It Is Finished!! By His precious blood I am forgiven and freed from all my sin. I am made ALIVE in Jesus Christ. The cross is everything..It is the anchor of my soul.
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain. Where Jesus has gone before us as a forerunner on our behalf. (Heb. 6:19-20)
He has risen, He is not here!! (Mark 16:6) This is where God taught me this week to find my joy. This kind of joy cannot be taken away. As a matter of fact He wants to pour out lavishly on me/us this joy… The joy of the resurrection is personal for me…more than ever before. “Christ’s resurrection not only gives you hope for the future; it gives you hope to handle your scars right now” (Tim Keller). Amen! I don’t know know what a happy easter is supposed to look like…but I do know that I can say with certainty, I delight in the resurrection JOY of Jesus!!! May I never celebrate Easter the same again. The pain and anguish that Jesus suffered for me…for my sins. May I look to the cross and be grateful for the resurrection for all eternity, every day!!
Oh, our precious Warren…selfishly I want you here to celebrate with me. I miss you with my whole heart. It won’t be the same..But I know (with my whole heart) that you are singing with the angels, celebrating this glorious day in a way that I can only imagine. I am so glad that even at a young age you felt a tug on your heart a few Easter’s ago and gave your heart and life to Christ!! I am thankful that I have this hope in Jesus and that one day very soon we will be together again. I will continue to point others to Jesus…I will continue to fix my eyes on Jesus, trusting Him to be enough for today. I love you very much…