The young man had battled cancer for years. Originally, the cancer was thought to be confined to the bladder so the bladder was removed. The surgery was successful and it seemed the cancer had been beaten. A battle was won but the war continued when the cancer returned. On the Monday after Easter, eternal victory was realized as he joined his risen Lord in glory.
What struggles are you facing these days? Is the light of Easter continuing to shine through them or has the light dimmed? Are you able to tune-in to the broader scope of what the Lord may be up to, or are the day-to-day battles overwhelming? You may be facing a tough diagnosis yourself or for a loved one. You may be worrying about a wayward child or dealing with a never-ending rift in family. It is not easy living into Easter.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. What kind of rest is Jesus speaking of? There seems to be no time for such rest in this world. Jesus’ point is that as we spend more time focused on worldly issues and battles, rest will be elusive. His yoke is a personal, passionate relationship with Him. To learn from Him is to spend time reading and praying through His word. One not only gets to know Him better, the lens of Scripture illumines a biblical perspective in this world. You will find rest for your souls. … rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:3-5. That is not easy to comprehend when you are facing chemo treatments every Thursday morning. But this took on a new perspective years ago when a friend that was in his final days of his battle with esophageal cancer said, “I think I am going to be the first one in our small group to get promoted.” We laughed and talked a bit more about his eternal victory. My friend was indeed living into Easter, knowing our Lord walked out of the tomb, He conquered death.
This Easter was special for the young man as it was one of goodbyes with his family and loved ones. But Tim was a Romans 5:3-5 man, husband and father! He persevered through the suffering of a years-long battle. He did so with a character that reflected his faith and trust in Jesus the Christ. That character proved contagious to those around him, especially his family, as he conveyed the hope of God’s love through the Holy Spirit in all circumstances. He lived into Easter and walked into the light of Christ, knowing all will be reunited eternally in the glory of the risen Lord.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and for Your yoke. I confess that I have allowed the day-to-day battles, arguments, frustrations and politics to keep rest elusive. I have spent way too much time reading and watching other stuff and not near enough time reading your word. Forgive me. I commit to take Your yoke upon me and learn from You by spending more time in Scripture. Help me view worldly circumstances through a biblical lens and discuss happenings as a family with spiritual clarity. Strengthen me with the hope that is Your love poured into me through the Holy Spirit. I want my kids to see me living into Easter by Your grace and for Your glory. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad kids across this nation need to see. Amen.
A faithful father leads his family by living into Easter.