“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”
This beautiful writing by Hosea is a vision of Christ’s death and resurrection. His articulate message is powerful. As I read those words, I found overwhelming peace within my soul.
Hosea unfolds the feelings of us all upon Christ’s death. The horror of it all, the violent suffering that was inflicted, and most of all, the unfair torturing of this peaceful Jew.
Hosea ends with the “sun rises” and Jesus’ appearance; comparing it with the rains that water the earth.
Yesterday, throughout my day it rained. Not just sprinkled, but poured rain. Flood warnings were abound all around me. I kept thinking, really?? We need this on top of everything else. I couldn’t find gratitude for the coming spring. It just seemed like dooms day… I was searching for Noah and his ark to appear at any minute.
My daughter made a trek to the grocery store, and found the shelves were bare. No toilet paper, limited meat, and canned goods were almost depleted. In addition, I went to order my dogs crazy, expensive allergen free dog food – none available. What was going on? How can this be happening? It seems like some sort of bizarre movie. The intensity of my long day of teaching combined with the exhaustion of hearing that not even one roll of toilet paper could be found was taking its toll on me. Enough is enough. Or is it?
I just need some hope.
Hosea, from a writing far in the past, gave me that hope. Do you think he knew that his writings would inspire Anne Slamkowski in 2020? It all made me realize – Christ is coming; hope is coming. The hope of the Resurrection will be here on Easter. Just like it has been for over 2000 years. Hope is coming.
We all have something to look forward to. It may not be the same kind of Easter that we are used to experiencing, but do you think the very first Easter, the actual Resurrection, was all about eggs, hunts, candy, and big dinners? I am pretty sure you know that answer to that. I know I do.
Easter is about hope – it always has been. The question is – am I ready to accept that message of hope or will my hardened heart miss the chance for some much needed peace?
At some point during this struggle, I am going to open my heart to God’s message. I have often heard God say to me, “This life I gave you isn’t about comfort. It is about experiencing joy through struggle. It is about seeing love, through sacrifice. It is about enjoying peace, through humility.” Someday… I am finally going to accept His words. Right now, everyday, I struggle with that – even though in my heart – I know it would be so much easier if I just relinquish to God’s plan. So, I keep battling myself for hope instead of accepting God’s words.
Somewhere in Hosea’s words I realized Easter has become exactly what Jesus was preaching against. Stripping me of (what I thought) was “my right” to a great Easter dinner has opened my eyes to my mistake. Easter is not the hope of family gathering together. Easter is about Jesus, and what he endured to conquer all the sins of the world. Easter is about the hope that one God/man bore all of our sins, took on all of our struggles, killed it all, then rose above it. WOW.
So where is the hope in all this?
Easter Sunday is the day I plan to watch church from my couch, pray to God to take away all of these fears, anxieties, and unrealistic expectations of what life is about. It isn’t about me being comfortable. It certainly isn’t about me having my perfect Easter. It is about Christ and the amazing gifts he gave me – Grace and Mercy.
Easter Sunday is the day to pray for healing, hope, and patience during this time of turmoil. Easter Sunday is about bringing peace into my life with the help of Jesus who died for me, on a cross, bore my sin, felt my pain, and then rose above it all. That’s hope beyond any hope I could ever imagine.