“’He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness…” 1 Peter 2:24 NIV
The truth is I miss the Easters of the past when my kids were small. It was always so much fun to pick out cute church clothes that coordinated with each other. We dyed eggs in bright colors, made special crafts, and hid Easter eggs in the yard probably a million times. I bet there are still some eggs hidden out there to this day.
I always loved picking out special items to put in their baskets to open on Easter morning, taking extra care to find their favorite candy (actually, I still give them goody baskets). We had so much fun sharing those special times together while we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus.
As the kids have grown into teenagers, you can imagine that some of their excitement over dying eggs and our other Easter traditions has dwindled. They no longer have an interest in posing for sweet nature pictures or decorating bunny shaped cookies with sprinkles.
At times, I must admit I have found myself feeling sorry for myself and a little down because the holiday just isn’t the same anymore.
But then God touched my heart with words I heard as loud and clear as though they were spoken directly into my ear.
“Just because your circumstances have changed, that doesn’t alter what I did for you on the cross.”
Immediately, I was ashamed and humbled for my attitude toward Easter. I knew the Lord was right. Easter is meant to be a time of celebration, joy, and gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, His resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. All of this for me, an underserving sinner.
My heart was focused on the wrong things. There was nothing flawed with the traditions and activities my kids and I enjoyed together in the past.
But when I longed for those things more than I longed for my Savior, when I placed those things in higher esteem than I did the honor and praise He deserved, then they became a problem.
I was too fixated on the memories of the past and what I perceived I had lost with my children forever. However, I needed to focus my heart on the most important memory of the past, the cross, and what I had gained forevermore, eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, my Savior.
How could I feel anything but joy this Easter holiday? The different seasons of my life will come and go. There will be an abundance of memories made, wonderful traditions initiated, and even some traditions that will be dissolved.
Our family will share many new experiences together and will forever be knitted with a bond of love and loyalty. And surely, many things will change along our journey together which will cause me to have to adapt even more.
But inevitably, the Lord will help guide me through, just as He did this Easter. He has taught me that even though my world changes, He is still the same God He says He is and is faithful to His promises. No matter what I face, nothing can alter the cross and what Jesus did for me.
That, no doubt, is reason enough for my heart to bubble over with great, jubilant joy!
Alisha Ritchie writes from North Carolina where she enjoys spending time with her husband, Brandon, of almost twenty years, and two busy but wonderful teenagers, Zack and Abby. She is a Physical Therapy Assistant by profession but in recent years has also become a multi-published author of devotions and inspirational stories to inspire others in their walk with God. You can read more of her writing at www.seekhimdaily.wordpress.com
by Alisha Ritchie
Snuggling… Relaxing… Cherishing time together…
There’s nothing quite like cuddling up under fluffy blankets with your children and enjoying a good book together. This time represents warmth of home and relationships- a closeness and bond between parent and child that cannot be replaced.
God beckons you as His child, “Come, and sit down. Spend time with me in a safe haven of shelter and rest. Let’s share our hearts together and know each other better. Let my love warm you and my voice assure you, you are loved.”
Cozy up with Snuggle Sessions with God to help you abide in the Lord’s peaceful presence in today’s hectic world. These fifty-two devotions will inspire you to look for Him, busy at work, in the everyday activities of life. Your faith will be renewed and your spirit refreshed, as you become increasingly aware of the Lord’s continual presence in every aspect of your life.