I read a post this morning by my friend Tammy Whitehurst (look her up on Facebook, she’s an awesome communicator). It made me cry. Happy tears. Finally, I found someone who’s Easter experience resembled mine.
Most of what I’ve been reading since yesterday is more lament. Sadness over what we missed: big choirs, lots of celebration, surrounded by a warm sense of community, family feasts—all the good stuff Easter evokes and offers.
I had very little of that. But what I did had touched my heart deeply. Please don’t miss the blessings that came while you pine for what wasn’t.
The message that was laid on my heart to share from the Easter story was the word of the angel to Peter…including Peter. The Easter message is a message of hope and restoration. Peter’s story is our story. Peter, after his pathetic personal performance (aka betrayal) was being offered a second chance.
Don’t miss the second chance you’re being offered.
It seems to me that when the people of God have gotten too comfortable, God shakes up the pot. Ask Job. Check with David. Look at Paul. And don’t forget those wandering former slaves who just couldn’t get it right…take another lap around Mt. Sinai.
Before this current pandemic went down. Before you were ordered to stay home. Do you remember wishing you had more time to read your Bible? Do you remember wishing you could have more time to dig deeper, move deeper spiritually?
How’s that working for you? How much TV/movies etc have you binge watched? I’m not saying it’s bad but I wonder how good it is for your spirit?
Confession. I found I was reading “news” articles on line far more than I was reading things that would encourage my faith and spirit. I felt myself sliding down a slippery slope into cynicism and despair.
Fortunately, after a long conversation with a friend (face to face and safely distanced, thank you Louise Waller) I was able to pull myself out of the nose dive. But I’m going to tell you, it was like what you see in the movies when the pilot is pulling back on the control with all their strength—not sure if they’re going to make it.
I made it.
You can too.
But second chances, like what Peter got, like what God has for each of us, are a gift we have to receive. Intentionality is involved. Want to is mandatory. We may not be able to choose your circumstances or situation, but we choose our response.
Peter could have heard the message and not believed it could be true. “Yeah, right. Maybe for someone else—not me.” Or like the rich young ruler in Jesus’ story (see Mark 10:17-31) walk away empty handed, empty hearted.
If all we see is what we didn’t have this Easter…then we walk away empty handed.
What did I learn? You take away all the trappings. All that is familiar and comforting. All that I count on. And I can still find so much to be thank-full for. So much room for praise. And a joy this world cannot take away.
What blessing did you receive in this unusual, but very special holy season?