Still Easter

I was moved by emotion during our Sunday service at church. The music began and so did the tears. Flooded by gratitude and the reality of what Jesus endured, I reflected on the true meaning of the cross.

The real meaning of the cross.

Not a symbol on my child’s Easter craft or stained glass window. Not earrings adorning my daughter’s ears or a gold token around someone’s neck.

Sadly, I don’t consider it often enough. Sure, I thank God for the gift of salvation. I thank Him for the hope of eternity and the blessings of life here and now. But it’s not often that I consider the real sacrifice. The real pain. The real gift.

I struggle to comprehend the depths of His love for me. I know I’m not deserving. I know that my sin helped nail Him to the cross. It’s too much to think about and so I don’t. And so, I miss the blessing of Easter the rest of the year. How sad! I soak it in for only a short time and then get back to the lackluster living of schedules and to-do lists.

I suspect that you may struggle with the same. We give God a nod each morning and then run on with our day. How differently would our lives look if we lived as each day was Easter? Would we think differently? Would we act differently? What if we celebrated the power of the resurrection every day?

Think about the celebration, the hope, the awe, the wonder, and yes, the power. I’m needing some of that today. How about you? Will you join me in celebrating Easter again today? And tomorrow? And the day after? I pray that you will.

From Trash to Treasure

I spotted it from a distance.  Parts peeked from behind another item.  As I moved closer, I realized it was in poor condition, but had the perfect shape. It was dirty and discolored, but held handfuls of potential.

And so I asked, “How much do you want for this old chandelier?”

To my delight, she replied, “Two dollars.”  And the deal was done.

I returned home with my find and began the process of restoration.  I cleaned. I painted. I adorned. And it sparkled.  No one would ever know that just a few hours earlier it was a discarded light I’d found laying on the ground at a yard sale.

I beamed as I beheld my new treasure. And the thought quickly occurred of how we are God’s treasure.  He sees our potential, not our current state.  He cleans and restores.  He finds us hurting and brings healing. He finds us completely undone and offers redemption. He finds us tattered and disheveled and reveals beauty and hope. 

Whatever your state today, know that you are treasured by God. He loves us. Let’s invite Him to bring restoration to every area of our lives so that others see His transforming hand at work in us.

Sorry, Not a Winner

Don’t you love those  scratch off game pieces?  You know, the ones that always say “Sorry, Not a winner.” 

Couldn’t they find a better message to print?  I mean, you’re already disappointed to find out you didn’t get the prize, but then the shame of having to read that you’re not a winner.  What does that do to one’s self-esteem?

As I was on the receiving end of one such game piece today, I paused after reading the lousy message.  Because I was already feeling a little edgy, I resented reading the careless text.  OK, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic. But, it did make me stop and think.

The truth is, I am a child of God.  He thinks I’m a winner.  Even on days like today when my husband and I are wrestling to solve a dispute, and the dog is still acting out because I dared go out of town three weeks ago, and I’m battling a head cold that fogs my brain and preempts desperately needed sleep, and when I forgot… again!  God still loves me.  Oh, how I needed to hear that truth!

Are you needing a reminder that God loves you today?  Hear this: He loves you extravagantly!  He’s not stingy with His love.  Nor is His love conditional.  He longs to lavish His love on you.  I pray that you’ll sit and soak in it.  Exhale the worries of the day and drink in His love and goodness.  Be still, my friend, and know that you are loved.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  1 John 3:1