Friday, April 13, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Easter


Easter
A devotional by Sara L. Foust

"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." ~1 Thessalonians 4:14 (KJV) 

I absolutely adore Easter. It is by far my favorite holiday. I love everything about it, from the bright colors of new spring outfits to the Easter egg hunts. Our family gathers each year to eat a big meal and visit. Some of the dads will hide the eggs while us ladies keep the kids occupied and try to prevent peeking. Then we let them free into the sunshine and listen to their giggles and squeals. After we find all (okay, most) of the eggs we settle in to open them and see what goodies the kids have found. The children run and play in the hopefully warm yard and enjoy the rest of the day.

We’ve had a few cold Easters, but I think I tend to block the memories of the chill-out. I’m a lot like a groundhog, I think. Or a momma bear. I get into this hunkered-down kind of funk in the winter months, and Easter is the first time I really feel like I’m coming out of my cocoon. Like I’ve been asleep all winter and now I can peel back the layers of gray and stretch into the sunshiny, flowery day of Easter with a huge smile on my face. With the birds returning and the animals waking, springtime is a wonderful time of rebirth. I don’t think it is any mistake on God’s part that Easter happens in springtime, do you?

More than anything, though, I adore Easter because of that great love God sent down for us. Without the love of His son Jesus, we could never know our own personal reawakening that is more than waking up after winter or simply waking up each morning. What Easter represents is the most beautiful love story ever told. A man, who was sinless and perfect, chose to take on my sins and bear them to a cross of agony in order to set me free. He died to prove His power over life and death, rising again, awakening again on the third day and attaining the victory that can never be taken from Him. And He chose to let me be a part of that eternal reawakening, even though I’m not perfect and even though I don’t deserve His mercy and grace.

His birth celebration is important, of course, but without the resurrection, the world never would have seen what a truly-miraculous, tradition-breaking, awe-inspiring plan salvation is. Without Jesus’ resurrection, once I slumber in death that’s where I would stay. But because of that mind-bending miracle, the one I can’t even try to wrap my humble brain around, I get to go to sleep in death and rise again in Heaven. Doesn’t that make you want to shout for joy?!

Many of our Christian holidays have become so commercialized, generations of children grow up believing that trees and eggs and candy and presents are what they are about at their core. I’m so glad I know the truth and am able to teach it to my children. Easter is a great time of reflection on my personal salvation story and a day I can spend in extra prayer thanking Him for loving me enough to die for me. For loving me enough to rise for me.

I hope this Easter you were surrounded by family who loves you, by a church who loves you, and by friends who love you. But I also hope you remembered that there has never been a more beautiful reason to celebrate. Easter is proof God loves you enough to want you in Heaven with Him and His Son.

~*~
Author Bio:
Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. 

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Tennessee Mountain Writers.

Her debut novel Callum's Compass won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature.

When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com.

3 comments:

  1. Easter has even more meaning for me. My Daddy passed away on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1998. He was a true gentleman. I miss him very much. Thank you for this message Sara. Blessings to you and your family.

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    1. Oh, goodness, yes. I'm sure you do miss him very much. I'm glad you enjoyed the devotional today. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Excellent devotional, Sara! I love that you said that it's no mistake on God's part that Easter happens in springtime! I know that I didn't earn God's love, didn't deserve it, still He gave Himself for me. Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, unexplainable, lavishing love of God!

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