Joy in the Storm: The Message of Easter is Hope!
It's a beautiful spring day in San Diego. The sun is out and the air is beginning to warm. Our home is filled with Easter decorations, as we anticipate the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter morning. For once upon a time ago, a King was born in a humble way. He left His crown in Heaven, to be born in a lowly manger. He experienced times of happiness and times of pain; pain to the point of death on the cross for you and me. And, it is because of His selfless act of love, that we can welcome the storm with peace. For His birth is only the beginning of the story, it's the resurrection of our sweet Savior that declares the joy in the midst of the storm.
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
I'll be honest, I went into this COVID-19 season with peace. Nonetheless, I acknowledge that this is a serious time. It's very surreal to me. It's difficult to understand that "this" is indeed happening all over the world. Yet, I can still choose how I receive this cup. I can still welcome joy in this storm, for my faith is greater than my fear.
The threat of the virus has mandated that California be put in a state-wide shelter in place, and other states and countries are also encountering these regulations. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Faith is about our trust in God in every circumstance. It's about letting Him take the wheel. Putting Him at the center of our hearts, our home, and our lives. Faith means to trust.
This temporary life detour gives me the opportunity to be
resolute in how I choose to see the storm.
This time at home is for my protection, and the protection of others
This is a temporary season, and I get to decide how I take action today
There are things I can control, and how I respond to my circumstances
As we continue to experience this time of isolation and social distancing, I am adjusting to a new norm. My new norm is not the same as my parents, or my friends and nieces with little kids, my friends who are expecting babies, my friends who are teachers learning how to navigate remote teaching, or my single friends who live alone. Still, we each have a choice in how:
We welcome each new day
We seek opportunity and prepare for when it knocks at our door
We use our strengths as a catalyst of selfless love
In the midst of the storm, we rejoice. For, there are people who are getting engaged and being married all over the world. There are women who are pregnant and will bring new life into the world today, tomorrow, or later this year. There are students who are being accepted into a university and students who are preparing to graduate and enter into their chosen careers. People are also accepting job offers and taking on new paths.
Can you see the blessings in the storm?
Easter is coming and we won't be in church. But, we don't need a building to celebrate the resurrection of our sweet Savior. We are the church. Wherever we are, God is with us. Easter comes, whether we are in a building, a home, or another place.
For His birth is only the beginning of the story, it's the resurrection of our sweet Savior that declares the joy in the midst of the storm. As we enter this Easter season of hope, let us be reminded of the reason we rejoice. It is the message of the Easter story. Jesus is alive and lives in us. He is the reason for our hope. He is the reason we can have joy in the midst of the storm.
How will you welcome the resurrected King on Easter morning?
How are you preparing your heart for the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world? (1 Peter 1:13 NLT)
How are you being a good Samaritan to your neighbor?
The message of Easter is the hope we have in a risen King!
"He is not here, for He has risen." Matthew 28:6