Easter will be here in just a few days. Many families come together for Easter egg hunts, dying hard boiled eggs and eating lots of chocolate. On Easter Sunday some of us put on our best attire and head to church and celebrate the Lord’s resurrection.
Over the years, Easter has become the most meaningful religious celebration to me.
It has absolutely nothing to do with Lyme Disease but everything to do with how I live out my life with Lyme Disease.
Eighteen years ago (Now 20 years ago) I made the decision to surrender my life to Jesus, it was when I realized for the first time that I was indeed a sinner in need of God’s saving grace.
Before hearing this I really didn’t think I was a sinner. I thought sinners were people who murdered or broke the law. I began to realize that just hating someone was murder in my heart and that broke God’s law. I discovered that everyone sins.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
I heard the Gospel and it changed me! I learned that because of my sin I was separated from God and would continue to be until I recognized myself as such and accepted His free gift of salvation.
I was captured by the salvation message and overwhelmed that God loved me, even in my sin, and that He gave Jesus Christ, His only son, the perfect lamb of God, fully God yet fully man, to die on a cross for me and for the world. He was resurrected on the 3rd day, conquering death and bringing the hope of everlasting life to anyone who believed. (John 3:16).
Jesus is the only one qualified to do this, He is the only one in all eternity who has never sinned. He is the only one who can forgive us completely and transform us. “Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to by men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
So why does this mean so much to me and why is Easter the most meaningful holiday to me? That God would love me overwhelms me, that He would die for me and forgive me of all of my sins so that I can live for eternity with Him is beyond my understanding but has become my greatest comfort, my greatest hope.
I’ve learned so much about God’s great love, care, and provision for me by reading the Bible. Because of His sacrifice, I don’t have to be overcome by the troubles that are going on in this world or even in my personal life. I don’t have to be defeated by the pain and suffering because I have the hope that Jesus gives for peace, strength, healing and most of all eternal life.
When these things do come into my life they can be used by God to help me become more like Jesus, to be more patient, to be more understanding of the suffering that others go through, to be able to empathize and show compassion and to even identify with the pain that Jesus suffered. This has been a great blessing, it gives meaning and purpose to the struggle.
Without this hope, being chronically ill can make one bitter and angry. Quite honestly, even if we know all of this already, we could still choose to have the wrong response to suffering. I sure know that I have. It’s hard, it’s painful and no one likes pain. It’s hard to see clearly when we’re in the midst and sometimes it’s hard to see an end.
Our suffering can have a greater purpose and our hope can be full if we look to Jesus and allow Him to comfort us, to strengthen us and to work in our hearts and our lives.
We all have only one life and we all have a choice as to whether or not we want to believe the greatest message of hope, the gospel of Jesus Christ, salvation freely offered to all.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter and Resurrection Sunday.