Easter in the rearview: an everyday celebration

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It’s the 11th hour, literally, as I write this.

Easter Sunday is nearly over. and here I sit munching on a favorite snack: sliced & salted cucumber.

Yeah, not the best thing to do at this hour of the day. But I figure that it’s a better option than a pint of ice cream (which I do not have in the house anyway.)

I do have Easter candy around here. I hope to finish this blog post before it comes to that. I’d chew gum if I could, but gave up on that years ago. *Sigh*

Oops, cucumber slice…sorry.

So, back to the task at hand. This blog post.

 

Weeks ago I had wanted to write a post for Good Friday. No such luck.

Last Monday I tinkered with getting an Easter entry ready to go. Didn’t happen. I had an excuse, my neighbor died. His funeral in fact, is tomorrow. *heavy sigh*

I now realize with each death I am being “tested.” I know that sounds weird.

Yes, I’m being tested (so are we all) and all too often I feel like I am looking at an EpIC Fail: at least in my eyes… In God’s Eyes: maybe not.

Cucumber slice.

I am caught in a “time capsule” of life. A time capsule of God’s making.

He created me. He knows exactly what I am here for, while I do not. In addition, He is watching me with baited breath from his Throne.

That might seem creepy to some, but not to me. In fact, it’s mildly comforting albeit frustrating.

I wear His cross as a symbol of my belief in His sacrifice and mercy.

I belong to HIM. Yet, I fail Him everyday.

Even as I meander through this “maze” called my life.

Not unlike you, I am

  • flying
  • running
  • stumbling and
  • searching for my way to successfully navigate some really tough waters in a tiny row boat – and better yet, I’m doing so blindfolded – and it’s DARK.

“I don’t know who I am or where I’m going” I once said to my Godmother. I was in my teens or early twenties when I uttered those words and her instantaneous reply left me speechless on the phone: “You ARE a child of God and your are going to Heaven.”

I’ve never forgotten those words. But that is of little comfort when the storms swell causes the sea to rise… and all you can think about as those waters get choppy and you feel sea sick is:

Why am I blindfolded?

Why am I in a tiny row boat?

Why am I the one doing all the paddling?

While I may recognize I’m already “dog-tired” I don’t immediately realize that I’m trying to get control of a boat that isn’t meant to be controlled by me. I also can’t see that the storm I’m facing is too big and too powerful to face alone. The waves could drown me and capsize my boat!

 

Yeah, I am a little tired. I’ve been working diligently for more than 2 years to sift through piles of stuff and clear out excess. Don’t we humans just love to accumulate?

But I’ve come to recognize all this accumulation is a really BIG test. The accumulation has accrued because loved ones have died. I’ve spent 3 decades working on getting “tough” and recognizing death for what it is: The passage way from a sin filled life to peace and perfection with God in Glory.

I’ve managed to develop a fairly thick skin over the years because….well, that’s what God needs from me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hardened…I’m being prepared – and that’s all I know (for now.) That’s all He wants me to know, for now. And I’m okay with that. Inevitably He wants me to depend on HIM. And in the long run, I need to. I need the wisdom from His “macro” view point!

Not long ago (okay, get real, last week) I was feeling really frustrated that I have been a guest at so few weddings. I’m not kidding. I’ve probably been to less than 5 weddings in my life. On the other hand, I’ve been to so many funerals that I often feel callous about the funeral proceeding process. Again, I’m sure that’s gotta sound weird. But I hope not.

See, God wrote about death when He said in:

1 Corinthians 15:55-56

New Living Translation (NLT)

55 O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?[a]

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.

And maybe that’s why I’ve developed somewhat of a callous over my heart. God allows our hearts, yours and mine to be broken just like His is.

He also stitches it right back together. Which is really, really good…because His stitches tend to make our hearts more resilient and able to tolerate the lessons He NEEDS us to learn. Death isn’t pleasant (and for the unsaved: it’s downright ugly) but death is downright necessary. It’s our FINAL test.

Cutting to the chase: death is NOT the end. We even avoid the subject of death. We may even avoid homes and people where death has “come knocking” – simply because it is an ill-fated reminder of what’s to come for us.

But what’s to come IS God’s greatest achievement in our lives yet. Because of HIS miracle in, through and with Jesus – this life is not ALL there IS. There is MORE. And that example is clearly seen when we take our bruised, battered, torn and broken hearts and LOOK to Jesus words in

John 19:30

where He says we have no reason to turn our back on facing our demise because “It is finished” AND that (in turn) leads the way to

John 11:25

when Jesus has come back to life, having conquered sin and death and HE says:

25 “I am the resurrection and the life.[e]

Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.

26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.

That is why we have Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. But most important of all is a reality that gets lost each year as Easter Sunday comes to a close.

Easter is 1 day. Easter is ONE day. EASTER IS A DAY ON A CALENDAR –

We should be living as if EASTER is EVERY-DAY.

 

As if Jesus resurrection NEVER ended just because His resurrection is complete. His good news for us is just the start. Death is the door way we must cross to see THE Light.

The Resurrection lead us to Pentecost. Pentecost is God’s living spirit that will abide IN US if we allow it. We can be a testimony about the amazing FEAT we have gained in what EASTER brings:

Hope for today! It’s time to ignite our light, to shine in the darkness as we WoRk our way HOME.

Prayer:

I long for you Jesus. I pray that in all we do: you will make our lives a living testament of who Jesus was and is. Help us to surrender, to allow you in..to mold us and make us NEW. Soften our hearts and help us to see that by surrendering we are really making ourselves stronger. Sanctify us and help us to feel your presence. Help us to find you in the midst of the storms we face.

Give us Peace and Grace, Grant us Mercy…..

I hope you had a blessed and joyous Easter Weekend!

Thanks for “hanging out” with me…and remember: You are LoVED by God!

-Kenzel

 

 

 

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