Today across the world Christians celebrate the Risen King. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The hope that Easter brings comfort to so many. The joy knowing that when Christ returns again, the painful, woeful and sorrowful world as we know it will end and the most powerful joy and love will forever reign.
Growing up Easter meant Easter baskets overflowing with candy and a stuffed bunny. Coloring eggs with my brothers and our mother. It meant getting all dressed up with our new Easter outfits and attending church. It was tradition. Having an Easter meal with grandparents and family. But today my friends, I understand the true meaning of Easter and I have a profound sorrow that not everyone gets that.
It’s not about the Easter Bunny. It’s not about Easter Egg Hunts. It’s not about Easter Bonnets and Easter Dresses. It’s not about going to church once or twice a year because that’s what you do. No my dear friends it’s so much more. It’s about life. It’s about knowing that God so loved the world that He would give His only son so that you and I could have eternal life; if only we are to accept Him.
I really never got the latter part of that until my daughter died. Oh, I was going to church every Sunday before her death. And when Brittany was with me on the weekends, we went together. We loved going to our church in Michigan. We had a small church family in a very large church community.
You see my Brittany, she loved Jesus with all of her heart and soul. She loved what Jesus stood for – she lived it every day. Caring for the least of those – you know the ones people turned their eyes away from. The people who were homeless and uncared for. The cast offs. Because she knew all to well what it felt like to be a cast off. The friend no one wanted. But it was not until her trip to Costa Rica with her church did she understand that the acceptance of her friends her peers didn’t matter. It was living for God that mattered. Her life was forever changed after that trip. She became a new person. She walked the talk.
After my daughters death I came to know Jesus in a more personal way. I had to because my life depended on it. My walk with God has changed so much since Brittany’s passing. In the early weeks and months I clung to the hope of the resurrection. The power of the resurrection, I believe, is what keeps us grievers going. Knowing that our pain and suffering will be no more. That our loved ones who have gone before us no longer suffer from ailments, from pain, from the anguish of what life throws your direction on a daily basis.
The hope of the resurrection brings us the message that we will not only see Jesus. Which I must say reminds me of the song by Mercy Me “I Can Only Imagine”. But we will also see our loved ones who have gone on to be with Jesus before us. I remember so vividly clutching onto that knowing my Brittany was dancing and sitting at the feet of Jesus and enjoying the warmth of His glow and the joy that must radiate from His presence.
I know that I am alive today because of the hope of the resurrection. I believe. I have an all-consuming faith that Jesus will come again and I think sooner than later. He will return to stop the madness that our world is constantly facing today. That the sorrows of the world will pass away and joy will return to a fallen world. At my darkest hour in grief I still know that my God reigns and He loves me and wants for me to see joy again.
My joy comes from God and God alone. Where does your joy come from? I hope you know Jesus. In the immortal words of my daughter “Do you know Jesus?” – “God is in every snowflake that falls.” “God is everywhere” – Can you believe? Can you feel it?
Until next time