For me, it was Sonrise enroute to service. I was running a little late at home, but God nudged me to go. For a moment, I tried to bargain with Him. I do not recommend ever bargaining with Him. Thankfully, He knew my heart was playful, though He also knew I wanted to slow down. I was going to 9am service, too.
The sunrise He gave me (and everyone else) was incredible. I drove along North River Street in Goldsboro, PA, and from the corner of my eye, to my left, I saw a reflection of red, almost twinkling on the water. Its beauty grabbed my breath.
Red, Your blood ran red, Lord~
Up rose the Son whose blood poured out for us, instead of ours.
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Lost in prayer, I barely noticed I didn’t know if I was headed in the right direction. Doubt spoke:
You should’ve driven down here the other day to find it.
Oh how the devil hates Resurrection Sunday, as a dear sister in Christ reminded me.
I found His people with His chosen preacher speaking from a music stand in the parking lot of the boat launch. Just where they said they would be, third entrance in. I tried to quietly park. Fairly easy, since I don’t have any of those fancy add-ons to my car. Donning my God-squad mask, I stepped out. No chair. No Bible.
Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen John 20:6-7).
They already started. You should have stayed home
The devil will use and abuse what is truth.
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for? (John 20:14-15).
The service had already begun. I am guessing I missed the opening hymn(s) and opening prayer and the intro to the message.
But His message!
Confirmed my heart’s cry last evening.
Lord, I hear You. I know You are listening to me. You say to me, “Julie”.
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward Him and cried out in Aramiac, “Rabboni” (which means Teacher) (John 20:16).
When you carry guilt because you struggle to remember disobedience is part of being a cute puppy … When you carry shame because if anyone in the neighborhood sees you getting unraveled over your puppy’s disobedience, they would not have seen Christ or the peace He died to give you.
All weekend, I have been ministering to myself, It is finished. Jesus took it. I can let it go.
God spoke through the preacher directly to me:
Do the people you rub shoulders with know you love Jesus? How have we served those in our reach? Have we shared the gospel of Jesus Christ?
So many reasons to be thankful.
Again, Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20: 21-22).
Yes, Lord, I am praying for You to help me with this patience and puppy thing, just like you helped me with the old jealousy thing, the old belonging thing. I cannot do it on my own. I am no better than any other believer. I need You just as much as the next sister or brother … maybe more. Please anoint me fresh that I am Yours to lead, to use. I want people to see You, not me. And Lord, it is seamless at times when You shine through me. But as Paul said, I do things I don’t want to do. Lord, I am sorry for not reflecting the fruits of Your Spirit. I am so overwhelmed that You chose to save me. Thank you, Jesus.
Isn’t it just like God to give us His Son and His moon during early Easter service? (look carefully in this last picture)
The day is Yours, and Yours also the night; You established the sun and moon (Psalm 74:16).
Thank you for standing beside my repentant heart. Oh how we need to repent every day, for judgments we make, for believing the devil’s lies, for not trusting Our Good and gracious God. Many reasons to repent. I pray we take time to do so each day. It is hard, remembering to ask Him to clean my heart daily. Somedays, I slip, thinking today was a good day. But was it? Would it hold to His holy standard?
Now more than ever, we need to be tethered to His robe, snuggling on our Papa’s lap, and seeking guidance and wisdom as we go out on mission, even if that is just the grocery store. Where can we shine the light of Christ? How can we be witness to Him in the every day?
I pray your Easter was blessed, that your cup, too, overflowed with His goodness.
Feel free to start a conversation here in the commons or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos in this post are mine.
Love in Him,