Change is never easy, and I think that’s why this season of Lent has been so very difficult for me. So many changes in such a short time left me out of balance for a bit. This morning, as the sun broke through the dark clouds and filled the house for a few special moments, I had to smile back at God and thank Him for all the lessons. Those teachers who push me to the point of true change are the ones I most remember. I don’t normally have a lot of affection for those teachers as they are getting me through a difficult lesson, but I truly appreciate them when I finally get it.
The best teachers are the ones who care about me, and that means understanding that I may not understand or like the lessons they know I truly need. Good parents are not always popular, and neither are good teachers. Jesus is the best teacher ever, and He knew the lessons coming at the cross were going to break His followers’ hearts. He also knew they would lead to stronger discipleship and greater love than they had ever known. They would need those lessons when He was no longer with them, and we still need them today. Without the separation that came with His death, His resurrection would not have been possible. He knew that then, and He knows that now.
The lessons this season of Lent have been about separation more than anything else. I didn’t understand what God was doing and even became angry with Him at one point. This morning, I’m thankful for His patience with me. Hanging on to that which He bids me to release keeps me from experiencing all the good He has for me. My intentions get tangled up in His will if I try to pick and choose or keep one foot in my way and one foot in His. Then my feet, like those good intentions, keep both of us from doing any good. He made it clear that I need to clear my heart and stop trying to convince Him to let me keep this or hold on to that.
God is the Master Teacher, and the change He has in mind is the same change He had in mind on that beautiful morning when Christ rose from the grave. He wants me to experience resurrection living and loving. This morning I celebrate Christ who gave up all to God on my behalf. The result was the single greatest change this world will ever know. I am thankful that He is still a god of hope who gives me the chance to change and live a life worth living forever:)
If you’ve ever had someone see the good in you that you cannot see in yourself, then you understand the power of seeing the good in others. Seeing the good in others is seeing the God in them. Christ helps me do just that and connect in a way that changes them, me, and the world as God releases His Son’s precious love into His world. The message on this last day of Lent is the importance of that connectedness and the compassion that results when His love is recognized and released.
I am designed by my Creator to connect, and I cannot be who He wants me to be until I make the connections He has in mind. Having someone take time to help me understand Christ’s love by seeing the good and God in me gives me the courage to carry out His call to do the same for others. Love and worship must be shared. The body of Christ is connected by His love. When I think about Easter, I am reminded of the resurrection and humbled to think that the powerful love that brought Christ out of the grave is in my own heart and the hearts of all who accept His offer of love.
Christ’s love stays hidden in many, and I’ve certainly hidden it away in my own heart. Bringing His love out of the darkness and into the light of relationship changes everything. Having someone recognize that love and bring it to the surface with honest communion transforms me and allows the resurrection living and loving God has in mind for me. Jesus did not stay in the grave, and His love will not stay locked away in my heart. The grave could not contain His love, and neither can my heart. Christ’s precious love is meant to be shared, and it will be whether or not I participate in the process of sharing it or not.
Love cannot be imposed on others. To love out of fear or force goes against God’s very nature. Before I can see His love in others, I must first see it in myself. That comes when someone sees what I cannot and helps me come to the place of seeing it myself. It’s a sweet revelation that prompts me to want to do the same for others. The process is a painful one that takes time, but it is well worth the hurt to experience the delight that comes from loving as God desires. It brings out the very best when a dear friend sees the worst but still loves the best in me. Releasing God’s love into His world and helping others do the same frees the spirit and heart to connect and serve in God’s world in His way.
It’s been a crazy Lent this year, but on this Holy Saturday, I’m seeing the beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. The light is Christ’s love, and He’s waiting there for me with a sweet resurrection smile of delight on His face. God reminded me this morning that I serve a risen Savior, and that makes all the difference in the way I love and connect in His beautiful world:) Happy Easter!!
The blossoms in the yard yesterday were sweet smelling harbingers of spring that lifted my spirit and filled me with hope. Easter is my favorite time of year because it comes at a time when I need a lift. I enjoy winter, but I am always happy when the cold gives way to spring. I love the flowers of each season, but those blossoms of spring are more than just flowers blooming. They give me hope and inspire me, as I’m sure they do many, when it comes to both the temperature and my heart. God says in each bloom that love is coming. The beautiful truth found in Christ’s resurrection is like the blossoms of spring. Each Easter, I celebrate that resurrection and the sweet knowledge that I am loved.
I have a beautiful succulent houseplant that blooms during the winter. It’s tiny blossoms bless me in a special way because they come at the darkest time of the year and are all the more precious because of their timing. They remind me I am loved when I most need to be reminded. The plant is dear to me and flourishes in a window which gets the afternoon light. It’s delicate in one sense, but it also refuses to die. I’ve come very close to tossing it out on several occasions, but it always comes back to life in a way that amazes me. It’s determined to thrive, and I love that about it. Love is the same way:)
Flowers remind me of love whether they are blowing in the open spring air or sitting quietly on a windowsill. Love is expressed in different ways, and God used flowers to remind me of that. Love, like flowers, will not be taken for granted. If they stayed the same year in and year out, I would soon not pay any attention to them. Love and flowers bless me when they bloom, especially when they catch me off guard. I almost killed the sweet little houseplant by expecting it to be in full bloom all the time, and I will kill love if I expect the same.
Love blooms when it is time for it to bloom, and flowers do the same. It is best to let them both be what God intends for them to be, a beautiful reminder of the hope we have in Him. He is there in the window, the yard, the meadow, and everywhere I am. Love is always there, and it will always be. That’s the sweet hope of Easter that makes it the most blessed time of the year to me. As the flowers on my little houseplant begin to die, the daffodils and star magnolias begin to flourish. When the last of the fall flowers fade, my little houseplant will be there to remind me to hang on until spring:)