Life is busy, fast and hectic. A rigorous pace is required to keep up or we will be forced to succumb to the trampling waves of life. What a relief it is to have a vacation or a holiday to come in just at the right time like a white knight! Yet for many, it is not like this. Thanksgiving and Christmas, the two holidays with the most vacation time, tend to get the most renown. For years I have explained to students that if your holidays are imperfect, stressful & the opposite of a vacation, to please remember: you are not alone in this.
For me, this Easter was just that: imperfect. Rather than spending my morning in a pew with my new wife in shades of light pink, blue, yellow or green, we were in a hospital waiting room with a family that was grieving. Even before we got there, the family was not alone. They were joined by friends, students, teachers and neighbors who hurt with them. A search for answers was at hand, but a calming one had not yet been found. Yet amidst the tragedy and pain, our King remained resurrected. The living power of Jesus Christ that is more than a yearly celebration but a daily one was very, very real. A reminder echoed through the halls and into the very ICU in which a young son and brother fought for his life. That reminder is this: death will never touch Jesus again.
What a beacon of hope for a family that seemingly had nothing to stand on. It is in that moment when the world tells us to crumble that we remember these words from Paul:
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3.11
Through prayer and support, a family whose world was spiraling out of control hit solid ground. God wasn’t just any god that day. He was stable, unchanging; a living, breathing God who goes before us. He is a firm foundation in which we can stand and build our families upon.
Some would say prayers weren’t answered that day because a young man’s life soon left him. Yet, those who would say that don’t know our God. God is more faithful than me. God is more faithful than you. In His goodness and in His mercy, God allowed a family, a community and a city to awaken. He has made many aware of the very evils that teem and thrive around us each day. Those evils will never be victorious in the end. One day their surrender will be much more than a white flag and a whimper, but instead their surrender will be knees and faces that fall before our King and tongues that declare Him Lord of Lords.
Joy. True joy was found in the faces of that family in a time when despair is all that is supposed to be felt. Jesus is more than just a feeling. He does not deceive us like the butterflies that plague our stomachs or the lumps that fill our throats. His joy is everlasting. I am thankful for this past Easter. It is in Christ’s resurrection that He will continue to conquer death. May Christ’s conquest drive out the death and darkness in our hearts, leaving in its wake only life and light.