Rejoicing in Sorrow
Easter is a time when many Christians celebrate the death, Sabbath rest, and resurrection of Jesus. For me, the joy of the empty tomb has been clouded by the sorrow of an empty womb.
A few years back, I woke up excitedly very early on Easter Sunday morning. During the night I had dreamed that I was pregnant. I was late that month, so I thought my dream may be intuition kicking in.
There were no pregnancy tests in the cabinet, so I went and roused my husband. He sleepily agreed to take me to the corner drugstore. The first place wasn’t open because it was too early. The second place had a sign saying it was closed for Easter. The third place in a neighboring town was open 24 hours, so I was able to get what I needed.
Once back at home, there was no delay on my part. I rushed to the bathroom with the purchase and waited breathlessly for the result. Within a couple minutes, my excitement gave way to deep sorrow. Negative…again.
It is very difficult to rejoice when your heart is broken. Can you imagine Mary’s grief at the death and burial of her son, Jesus? Years later, the world would combine cute bunnies and hunts for colored eggs with sunrise church services and “empty tomb” sweet rolls. I wonder if Mary would feel the same joy on Resurrection Morning if she knew the Sacrifice was nearly forgotten during modern Easter celebrations.
Anyway, this year I have a little blessing for which I am so thankful! She is still too young to appreciate the true meaning or the traditions associated with Easter. However, I took time yesterday morning and explained the story to her as best as I could. It went something like this:
A long time ago, Jesus came to earth as a little baby just like you are a little baby. He grew up just like you will grow up. But then His life was cut short because of our bad choices and actions. That is very sad. But Jesus turned the sadness into something to be glad about.
After Jesus rested in his tomb over Sabbath, God, His Father, sent an angel to wake Him up and call Him back to His home in heaven. And that is where Jesus is today. Jesus loves you so much that He is preparing a very special place just for you. With God and the angels, He is excitedly making homes for everyone choosing to live for Him. One day, He will come back to earth to take His people home. That means us! Oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be!
One day you will come to know what death is and the sadness that is part of it. But it is important to remember that we have promises of new life because of Jesus.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3 NKJV
That is indeed good news worth celebrating whether it is Easter or any other day.