In Sorrow and in Joy

Easter offers open doors to share the message of hope found in Christ

The day before my daughter’s fourth birthday, we buried her two-year-old cousin. I watched my family try to cope at the funeral. When my brother carried the tiny casket from the church, I thought my heart would break in half. It is not right for parents and grandparents to bury children. From the words of the minister, I took comfort. He told us Oakley was in the presence of the Father. He reminded us of the pain Oakley endured every day of his life, and since his death, Oakley has been pain-free. I took strength from the words spoken by the minister at the funeral as he shared from the Bible. Those words of comfort sustained my family during a very difficult time.

I am reminded of the story of Jairus and his daughter in the fifth chapter of Mark. Can you imagine Jairus’s pain as he pleaded with Jesus while his daughter lay seriously ill at home in bed? He, like any parent, would do anything for his child. There is no worse pain on this earth than watching a child suffer and die. Then Jairus’s tears of sorrow were replaced by tears of joy as Jesus raised the child from the dead. Can you imagine the hugging and sobbing that took place in Jairus’s home that day?

Why would I use illustrations about one child living while another died? To me, the power of both stories is in the presence of Emmanuel,God with us.” Jesus walked with Jairus’s family in their darkest hour just as he walked with my family. One day our rejoicing will be as great as Jairus’s family when we witness Oakley’s resurrection in heaven. God is with us in our deepest sorrows as well as our greatest joys.

As you wait for Easter, spend time reflecting on Christ. If you are in the midst of pain and sorrow, ask God to hold you in His arms and comfort you. If today there is reason to celebrate and rejoice, then thank God for that as well.

Easter offers open doors to share the message of hope found in Christ. Engage people around you and share the significance of Easter. Your neighbors, friends, and family need to experience the power of Emmanuel, just as you have. Pray for opportunities to share your faith. Then simply share the story of God’s grace at work in your life.

 

“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Heb. 12:3 NIV).

 

Father,

Hebrews 12:3 demands I think about Jesus.

When I am weary, remind me of what Jesus endured on my behalf.

When I am grieving, remind me that my Savior wept.

When I am in anguish, remind me of Christ’s sweat drops of blood.

When I endure opposition, remind me of Jesus’ suffering.

When I face betrayal, remind me of 30 pieces of silver.

When I face rejection, remind me of Christ’s crucifixion.

When I have lost all hope, remind me of the empty tomb.


Sandy Wisdom-Martin is executive director/treasurer, national WMU.

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