Friday, April 10, 2015

Feasting on Easter

obligatory Easter picture with Dave - this makes 4 Easters together

This Easter was wonderful.  Dave and I spend the 3 day weekend in Georgia with his family.  We all met at his sister's house and spent the holiday celebrating, fellowshipping and eating (lots of eating - thus why I am avoiding bread and hitting the gym this week). I spent time chasing nieces around, holding babies, having heart to hearts with my sweet sister in law, helping the kids hunt Easter eggs, taking neighborhood walks and cooking with the ladies. We devoured an Easter Feast on Saturday night: ham, tenderloin, macaroni and cheese, potato casserole, zucchini corn salad, sweet potatoes, green beans, chocolate cake, etc. We dove into the leftovers for Sunday lunch - and when I left Georgia, my stomach and heart were full. ( I have incredible in laws, by the way....I know this is not always the case, so I am extremely grateful)

Sisters and brother in law and 3 lovely nieces

This winter has been tough -- and more than I realized, my soul longed for Easter, for a chance to remember God's faithfulness to His people and his undeserved unending love and grace.

I've always loved Easter - a holiday to focus on rebirth and redemption, on hope and eternity, on freedom from our sin's damning consequences.  Our truth is that we are loved more than we could ever dare hope - so much so that our Lord would sacrifice His own beloved Son - just to wipe our slate clean. We have a future that extends far beyond the confines of our earthly timelines. We have eternal hope - but, sadly, my daily reality is not often centered on our future hope.

Lots of celebration with our nieces!

But, this spring, I am feasting on Easter (or at least trying really hard to feast!)  I am filling my soul to the brim with the all encompassing hope that will not disappoint. I am striving to believe the best and see this world through our Savior's eyes: broken but beautiful, needing a Savior in every moment, (whether seemingly inconsequential or life changing), inching closer to eternity and redemption.

our newest niece!

If I truly feasted on Easter, what would it look like in my daily life? 

If I feasted on Easter, every loss, every hardship, every pain would be heartbreaking, yet still illuminated by the promise of redemption.  Each broken moment would be a little less broken if I lived in the reality that the pieces would one day be put back together and whole in a way that I cannot even fathom in my present earthly state.  Each loss or hardship would be viewed from an eternal perspective - as a step towards heaven and a circumstance that will be redeemed for beautiful things either in this life or the next.

If I feasted on Easter, I would celebrate and laugh and soak up God's blessings with more awareness. All  joyful moments would point to heaven - a foreshadowing and foretaste of all good things to come.

Feasting on Easter would stir in my heart more forgiveness - both for others and myself.  I would live in awareness of my sin and need for grace - and display that same grace to others more often.  Kind words and gracious actions would flow from my heart and mouth.

If I truly feasted on Easter, then just like my body after a big holiday meal, my heart would be so stuffed full of hope that I could not imagine devouring one more morsel - yet still refusing to push my chair back from the table, still longing to eat just one more mouthful. I would sit at the table and greedily cram hope and blessing in, past the point of fullness.  I would return often, eagerly, expectantly. I would come to the table often, finding nourishment and fellowship, returning for more as often as I could.

If I feasted on Easter each day, then I would not live in fear.  I would wake up confident that no matter what the day held - whatever sin, failure - or even worse, "perceived failures" - my future remains secure - and I would go to sleep each evening, one step closer to a world of no tears, no war and only joy.  

If I truly feasted on Easter, then I would live each day aware that present situation is never the end to the story.  The battle is won! Death and sin are conquered.

If I truly feasted on Easter, it wouldn't be a holiday, just a way of living, my mindset during my daily journey - an eternal focus pointing towards to cross and towards the Savior daily. I would not need an Easter Sunday, because every day would be my celebration.

Oh, how I want to truly feast on Easter!! Lord, help us to live like it is Easter every day. Help us to see your glory, grace and forgiveness in all situations and all people. Help us to never lose sight of what our future holds because of the pain your past included.  Help us to feast on Easter daily.

Doesn't this melt your heart?

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