I am writing this post the day after Easter. For Christians, Easter is a very
important time of the year because it represents the day that Jesus rose from the grave: demonstrating both His divinity and His power in the present world.
I am also writing this while we in South Carolina are under mandatory quarantine because of the coronavirus. Most of us had not even heard of this virus until February. Since then, we have seen it turn our entire world upside down.
This Easter was different from any we’ve celebrated before. Because of the quarantine and the virus, we couldn’t attend our churches for special Easter musicals and sermons. We couldn’t hide eggs for the children in their once-was-clean Easter outfits to hunt. And we couldn’t gather to share a huge meal with our family and loved ones, instead we ate our Easter dinners in the privacy of our own homes.
It’s not only that our world is upside down but no one knows what will come next. We are in the middle of our second month of social distancing with no-one-knows-how-many-more to go.
And on top of all that, our lives continue on. The mother of friend of mine had to go into the hospital today. They couldn’t go with her and won’t be able to visit because the hospital is closed to all visitors. And an old classmate’s father passed away and they won’t be able to have a funeral because we can’t gather in groups above twenty.
But what the disciples were going through the day before Easter was also hard. They had just seen their Master, Teacher, and Friend arrested, abused, and crucified, then buried in a borrowed tomb.
They had heard what he had said about raising the temple walls in three days, but they knew as we do today that death is final. There is no inside handle on a casket. They social distanced and hid from the authorities. How could they have been so mistaken to trust in a mere carpenter?
Then Easter came. And Jesus rose, took off the grave clothes, and walked out of a borrowed tomb.
And because of what He did, everything changed. For the disciples who came
out of hiding to spread Christ’s good news to the world.
And for us who can live in the words of Apostle Paul, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7)
That doesn’t mean we won’t go through anxious times. But it does mean God has given us the keys to getting through them. And we can trust that His plan continues.
Another place to look for encouragement in these times comes from a lesson from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, a cartoon that I get to watch with my son. His parents told him that when something happens and he gets scared, he “should look for the helpers.”
Today we are seeing a multitude of helpers responding to situations no one could have imagined a few months ago. From healthcare workers facing a new virus with a lot of unknowns and a shortage of supplies, to store employees risking becoming sick to help their neighbors get food and supplies, to teachers trying to continue to teach their classes through new and creative means, to families staying at home so they won’t be exposed to the virus and then bring it back to someone more vulnerable. Courage and heroism are wearing many different masks.
So when your house begins to shrink in on you. When you find yourself talking to the half-dead plant you have watered too much. Remember that God hasn’t changed. He is still our Father who went through Good Friday to give you the Easter that you need.
And know that you are not alone.
You can see more in-depth thoughts about God’s gifts for hard times in my post on The Write Conversation here.
Pictures from Pixabay.com.