Writing the right story that shares love and joy for this season when springtime delights and Easter delivers ‘restoration of all things’ has taken more time than I thought I had to give. With busyness abounding at every turn, He whispered, “be still and know I am God”!
So, I prayed, studied, read relevant scripture, replayed Passion of Christ in my mind, reflected on the Easter Story, and waited. This is His story; a true love story written by the One who created and cares for His children so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross that we might be saved and live happily ever after in Heaven when our time on earth is done. Oh, what a love story He is writing while waiting for us to invite Him into our hearts and share a personal relationship of trusting, obeying, and honoring Him as first love through all seasons. I pray you will come closer to Christ while reading this story. If you do not already know Him as Lord and Savior, I pray you will invite Him into your heart.
Easter is all about Jesus’ love and sacrifice for mankind. He laid down his life for us and was laid in a tomb. His family and friends mourned while his enemies rejoiced, and most of the world went on with business as usual, clueless to the great Love Story around them. Three days later the story took a sudden turn as Mark 16: 2-7 relates an angel waiting in the tomb to tell the good news that Jesus had risen and would meet his disciples in Galilee.
Jesus came back, showed up again, and was restored to them. He walked into the house where they gathered to comfort one another and asked for something to eat. This happy ending to a story, many refuse to believe, can be our happy ending also.
Corinthians 15:20 resonates ‘Christ was raised from the dead as the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again’!
In Romans 8:29 (The Message) reveals what God planned from the beginning. ‘He decided from the onset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored.’
What an amazing Love Story for you and me to embrace as characters created by our heavenly Father who loves and looks after us from beginning to end. We, too, shall live and never die, being restored and sharing eternity together. Imagine being reunited with the ones we love and with all the great hearts of this Story, in paradise! However, just as any love story requires faithful believing and doing, so must we in God’s Story of covenants, commands, sacrifice, forgiveness, restoration, and eternal life in Heaven. Our duty is to LOVE as Jesus loved. That love includes forgiving as He forgave.
‘Quite Time for Couples’, a book given to James and me when we were married, sat by my bedside while I contemplated going to sleep or finishing this story. Pushing my computer aside, I picked up the book we loved to read from. I remembered our times together with wonderful memories and reverent wonder! Yet, an emptiness flooded my heart with a rush of emotions that tried to stop the story God was stirring about His Son who loved us so much that He gave HIs life and forgave his enemies. Reality knocked with questions that could have given Satan an open door to mock my Savior and meddle with my life. I was under attack and taking action! Sitting straight up like a soldier, I recited a verse on a wall hanging my mother gave Tim and me when we were married, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”!
Pictures of loved ones tendered my heart with a victorious smile and audible demand for the enemy to leave me alone, to get behind me, to flee. Sweet peace from Jesus trumped the torment the devil tried to stir up. Times like this strengthen faith for unseen battles that strike without warning. Spiritual warfare never ceases, but power to overcome is within our hearts and minds when we stay cleaned out and closely connected to Christ. The devil will flee, but will never give up trying to steal, kill, and destroy. The story of Easter is a constant reminder of Jesus’ love and God’s promise to look after us as He does the sparrows. We have ‘No Fear’ with our Lord and Savior near!
Then, I was still and spent sweet time with Jesus! I became lost in a sea of precious memories and blessings that colored (and continue to color) my world with so much love and happiness as I go forth in faith and keep writing my love story. In my room, there was quite enough love to chase away any blues or burdens and fill my heart with HIs sweet peace and promise to take care of me and take me Home when my work here is done.
This story is no April Fool. “For such a time as this…” we must stand up as soldiers of the cross and enjoy life…for every day with Jesus is truly sweeter than the day before!
Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.