A Sarine Thought… or Two
Why I Love Easter
Happy Easter to one and all! This is such a special time of year to me personally because of my relationship with Jesus Christ. I usually allude to my faith each time I talk to you guys, but I have never really laid it all there, so to speak. That changes today!
I grew up in a Christian home from birth. I went to church, Sunday School, children’s choir, children’s mission organizations (shout out to all my fellow Girls in Action!), Vacation Bible School, camps, retreats... if it had to do with church, more than likely, my family was in attendance. I have heard the gospel many times over the course of my forty-two years, but it became very real to me when I was eight years old. That is when I asked the Lord to forgive my sins, come into my life, and lead me forever. It is not that I was some religious phenom who understood the doctrines of the ages as a third grader. However, I did know that I wanted to go to Heaven and be with Jesus when I died. I also understood that my behavior and good deeds would not cut it at the entry gate either. I am not saying I was involved in an elementary school crime ring or anything of the like; I just knew, down deep, that I could not get where I wanted to go on my own.
One Sunday, one of my friends from school got baptized during our church service. As I watched, I felt in my heart that I needed to do the same thing. I leaned over and whispered as much to my dad. I have a feeling it must have been an “Emily whisper,” which is equivalent in decibels to an average person’s elevated inside voice, because he shushed me and said we could talk about it after church.
When my parents and I did talk about how I was feeling, they were initially cautious. This was a REALLY big decision, and I did not have a whole lot of experience making those at the time.
Heck, given the photographic evidence of what I decided to wear on a regular basis during this period, I would have questioned my decision-making ability too! Still, I was persistent (hard to believe... ha!), and at last, they gave in and asked our pastor, Dr. Charles Redmond, to come and talk to me.
This was back in the day when pastors made house calls, so we set up a day for him to come to our home and visit with us. I still remember sitting on the couch with him and listening to him explain the gospel in a way that was so crystal clear to me. I felt a tug in my heart when he talked about all people being sinners and unworthy of God’s love. But because God is so gracious and loves us so much, He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a sinless life and yet die a criminal’s death on the cross in our place. For the first time, I realized I was the reason for Jesus having to die. I was a sinner. His sacrifice paid my debt. He was buried on Good Friday and was in the tomb until the third day (Easter) when He rose again from the dead. Because of all that Jesus has done, I could now have eternal life if I would confess my sins (of which were many even then), turn to Jesus, and receive His forgiveness. Even as a young girl, I knew this was the absolute BEST deal I could ever make. Jesus got all the bad stuff and gave me all the good stuff because He loves me?! Absolutely, I will follow Him! So, I bowed my head and gave my life to Jesus through a sincere prayer from a heart that was so sorry it had caused Him such pain. Essentially, as my pastor, Dr. Jeff Schreve, says, “I gave all I knew of me at that point to all I knew of Jesus.”
You know, I can still recall the feelings of absolute joy and relief I experienced at that moment. I suspect that I will feel that way all the time once I go home to heaven. Ever since my head came up from the prayer I prayed when I made my confession and claimed Jesus as Lord, I have been living my life in a relationship with Him. Talking to Him, and asking for His help, advice, mercy, and forgiveness more and more regularly as the years go by. In the beginning, it was weird because I had never really talked to Him before. But as I have practiced it, especially in adulthood, it has become more of an open-ended conversation.
Now, let’s have some “real talk” for a moment. Has this journey of following the Lord been all daisies and sunshine? Nope. There have been some really hard moments during my life. Some were circumstantial, and others were because of my own bad decisions. But God has never left me. When bad things happen to me, He is right there with me, encouraging me through His Word and the people He has allowed to come alongside me when I have needed them the most. When I screw up, He is patient and always willing to hold His hand out to me when I realize I am going to have to humble myself and ask Him for forgiveness and help.
But honestly, most of the time, it is daisies and sunshine. Jesus makes me happy. Every good thing I have ever experienced has been exponentially better because I know He is the reason for it, and I can thank Him.
Whatever is going on in your life right now, whether good or bad, please know this: if God could love and save a goofy little hazel-eyed, loud-mouthed eight-year-old girl with a mean streak a mile wide and, who even as an adult, tends to think she knows it all, then He definitely loves you and offers you the same gift of salvation! Maybe Easter does not mean much more to you right now than hunting for eggs, a new outfit, and lunch with your family. But it can mean so much more. If you have questions about the Lord or what it means to have a relationship with Him, I would love to talk to you about that. Shoot me an email at email@example.com,
and we can chat.
So that is my story. I pray that it encourages you and that your Easter is more meaningful this year than it has ever been before!