It’s three days after Easter and everyone is settling back into normal routines, as we all do after a holiday weekend. Sunday was filled with quality family time, good food, and of course, a church service celebrating the resurrection of our Savior. Every year, as I sit through a new dramatization of what took place on the Cross, I am reminded of the massive sacrifice Jesus made so that I can have eternal life. Watching someone retell the story of how the Lover of my heart, the Creator of my life took nails into his beautiful hands and a crown of thorns into his head never fails to reduce me to sobs. It’s not just a story – it’s the real life account of the physical and emotional pain that was endured by the One who holds the key to my heart. When my loved ones hurt, I hurt – and this certainly isn’t any different.
When the service was over and my family and I made our way to the car to prepare for brunch at our house, I began to think about how quickly we dismiss the celebration of Resurrection Sunday. For those of us who are familiar with what Jesus did on the cross, I think we are quick to pack away the emotional punch of the crucifixion all too soon (myself included). Real life sets in and we become fixated again on what we need from God instead of what He’s already done. Bodies need healing, bills need to get paid, children need instructing, and houses need to get sold (haha…that’s my life right now so I had to throw it in). Our meditation is so quickly turned back onto what we need or want from God and we miss so many opportunities to feel the weight of how what Jesus did on the cross is already blessing us even in the midst of our circumstances.
The truth is – He didn’t just die so that we could live in eternity with Him, but also that we could live in freedom here on earth. And while there are days that my current circumstances can make me feel bound and burdened, the truth is that His death on the cross has already given me what I need to live freely in the midst of those circumstances – I just need to remember it and receive it. As Brennan Manning states so perfectly in his book ‘Abba’s Child’:
Spirituality is not one compartment or sphere of life. Rather, it is a lifestyle: the process of life lived with the vision of faith.
If we live a lifestyle of spirituality, we are far less apt to let our circumstances define who we are. Instead, we walk under the umbrella of the Cross, even when life is throwing hail the size of melons down on us. If you’re finding it difficult to look past your current battle instead of the battle that was fought on Calvary, meditate daily on what you DO have. Once I started this process, I realized that my difficult moments are but one grain of sand on a beach that stretches for miles. God rescued my husband and me from the pain of divorce and knit two broken hearts together. He placed our children in a home where they can finally see what true love looks like. Our family is a picture of God’s redemption, and while we still deal with real-life pain just like everyone else – we are no longer bound by the pain of our circumstances.
Every Easter Sunday, today, and every day hereafter, I will remember that the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross not only gave me eternal life, but it gave me the important things that are far bigger than whatever mountain I’m facing. These things…