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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

He Showed Them His Hands

What is it about this time of year that excites you the most? Is it the shopping--going out and finding that perfect outfit, with coordinating shoes and accessories? What about purchasing all the goodies to fill the Easter baskets? Do you snitch the jelly beans or nibble the ears off the chocolate bunnies when no one is looking? Are those Cadbury eggs irresistible? Does the sight of daffodils and tulips blooming make your heart dance? No doubt most folks are ready for the warmer temperatures.

When we consider what we like the best about the different holidays, Christmas usually comes out on top with a long list of favorite songs, recipes, and family traditions. But if we didn’t have an Easter, Christmas would be nothing more than an opportunity for family get-togethers. Yes, the virgin birth is miraculous, but the Resurrection is what makes the Christian faith different from any other religion. Many religions have a leader who died a martyr’s death, but no other faith rests on a Savior who rose from the dead.

If ever there was a time for us to examine the depth of our faith, it is at Easter. So many of us deal with tribulation on a daily basis. It can tend to take over our thoughts and attention if we let it. Work-related stress, family problems, money woes, illness or physical affliction, hurtful personal relationships can all overshadow our walk with God. Sometimes God’s blessings come to us wrapped in a disguise of pain or trouble. If we are attentive to the touch of God’s hand or the whisper of His voice, we can see His finger of grace. If we cling to His hand and stay beneath the shadow of His wing, our trust deepens to a level greater than our adversity. The Resurrection proves God’s love for us to such an extent, how can we not cling to Him in full and contented trust?

Consider this: Christ’s apostles were in hiding after the crucifixion. They were confused and fearful—their circumstances seemed to overwhelm them.

“Then, the same day, at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, JESUS CAME and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” John 20:19-20

We don’t have to understand everything we are going through. In fact, God doesn’t ask us to understand. He doesn’t expect or call us to understand. He only calls us to trust. If God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us, if Jesus is so powerful that the grave couldn’t hold Him, how can we not trust a Savior like that?

This year, look past the eggs and Easter baskets and chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. Set aside the new outfit and shoes. Appreciate the warmer temperatures and spring blooms, but concentrate on the Giver of life. He is the One in whom you can place your full trust and rest contentedly in His arms regardless of your circumstances.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

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