It’s 3:00 am Easter morning and I can’t sleep. I think I am fighting a little something – maybe a sore throat or a cold. I have been busy and finishing up fiscal year end stuff and I worked a good part of spring break last week, so I am a little run down, I think. I have had a little trouble breathing, congestion sort of stuff, and so I wouldn’t wake Janet, I headed into the library at 1:20 am to give her some peace.
I should have known better. It wasn’t long before she noticed my absence and came out to encourage me to return to bed. I assured her that my reclining chair was better than the bed and while we were talking, Lexie, our Doberman, also walked into the library to see what all the commotion was about. Janet refused to return to bed, as did Lexie, so as I sit here writing, they are asleep, together, in one of the other chairs in our library. That’s so like Janet. Fully dedicated – and committed to being with me whenever she can.
It’s been like that for years now. She has a sense about when I need her presence near me. And she knows when, on occasion, I need a little space to think, or ponder, or pray. Regardless of the situation, she is always aware of my needs and works selflessly to make sure that I am comfortable and that we are together, at least in spirit. I hope it goes without saying that I try to do the same thing for her. I don’t think either one of us would have it any other way.
I’ve never been a fan of the middle of the night. I have always found it a lonely time of the day. Not wanting to disturb Janet, I left the TV off, even though the light next to my chair is on. I decided that I needed something to read, and since my computer was right next to my chair, I re-read some of my old posts from the last year. Sometimes, I receive comfort from going back and seeing what was going on in my life as I have written posts over the course of the last 14 months. Of course, it wasn’t long before I wanted to write something, so that’s what started this post to you. I was going to call it “Resurrection” but I found out that I used that title last Easter…..
As I sit here, I am consumed with wondering whether this lonely feeling was how the disciples felt about the death and burial of Jesus after the crucifixion. Alone, and probably feeling that hope was gone, it would have been very easy for Christianity to have ended at the cross as the apostles and disciples feared for their own safety. Easter morning, Mary and the women who went to the tomb, and found it empty, may have also sensed a loneliness about the death of Jesus. But they found renewed hope at the sight of the empty tomb and the subsequent encounter with Jesus Himself. Of course, we know the rest of the story, and we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter – today. Of all the nights to be unable to sleep, it seems strangely odd to me that this happens to be Easter morning.
And if Janet is committed to being with me and attending to my needs, I can’t even imagine how committed God is to the same thing. Because He has promised to be with me also. After all, as a result of sin in the Garden of Eden, man faced eternal separation from God – and that was not what God intended or wanted for us. He loves us too much. So He send His son to pay the price for our sins – once and for all eternity. The conquering of death is what this day, Easter, is all about. So we could be close to Him, and Him to us, for all time. The same way Janet and I feel about each other, only greater that either of us can even imagine.
Sometimes God doesn’t show up as soon as we would like. But that’s okay – because He knows our needs and God is never late – but rarely early. And when we are too tired or sick to try to carry our own load, Christ carries it for us – He shares our burden.
The verse for today is from an unlikely book this Easter morning. From Matthew 28:20, we are told, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In other words, as a result of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus, we are bound together with Him – to the end of the present age – the Church age – and throughout all eternity.
My encouragement today is to take a moment and really process what all this means – what a big deal it was for Christ to die on the cross and then raise Himself from the dead – that’s right – He raised Himself according to the original Greek. And that’s the only time that someone has brought himself back to life. My prayer is that you will ask God to open your heart to see the immense love that God has for us – the love that sent His son to die for us so that we could spend eternity with our Lord and Savior. The great news is that no matter if it’s 3:00 in the morning, or any other time, God is near – He is always present….. Happy Easter! Grace and peace,