Easter 2009

This Easter we celebrated with a house full of friends. We are taking care of the 16 year old daughter of some friends for a little while longer so she was with us. We had 2 other families over for an Easter ham lunch.

Easter found us all in a state of emotional heaviness. Not only has a lot been happening to people here where we live, and to us, but to friends and family back in our home country as well. We've received emails and phone calls detailing some of the sadness that you all are experiencing. Not the least of which was the news that my uncle had passed away this week. I had spent a lot of time with him as a young man and the news was very saddening.

It weighs heavy on our hearts, and we found ourselves sitting in church on Easter Sunday not really celebrating the resurrection, but more mired in the sadness that felt like the enemy all around us was winning.

We had spent the weekend shedding tears over so many things, it felt like we simply could not handle one more thing. And then another sadness hit, and another. We had to go to God in prayer and simply ask for some sort of emotional relief of this burden.

So there I was sitting in Church and the sermon was on how the resurrection applies to us today. If you've been raised in the church, then like me you could probably recite an Easter sermon or two.

BUT up on the screen flashed some Scripture, which wasn't even referred to or read aloud. I read them, and God did a good thing. He encouraged my heart, and I could feel the burden lifting.

After church I was cornered by our director and asked to be the Director of Security pointman for one month. Before those Scriptures hit me, I couldn't have done it. That particular job means you have to see the ugly underbelly of living here. All the sad stories and such that happen around the country flood your desk. But I feel that although I do need to protect myself emotionally so that the enemy can't get a foothold... that this job IF I HAVE TO DO IT... is something I can do. (we'll find out in a few days if I will be doing this job... as a side job to my networking work).

You can pray about that. Am I ready to be responsible for the security of everyone living here? I do not feel I am, but I have been asked by a man in authority and have told him I would but I did not think it wise at this time for me.

Here are the verses, and what they told me, I needed to hear:
-they told me our work here is not in vain
-that God will energize us and support us
-I love the imagery in these verses... a crown of beauty instead of ashes.. I felt like I was emotionally heaping ashes on my head in mourning...

Isaiah 61

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
       because the LORD has anointed me
       to preach good news to the poor.
       He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
       to proclaim freedom for the captives
       and release from darkness for the prisoners, [a]

 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
       and the day of vengeance of our God,
       to comfort all who mourn,

 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
       to bestow on them a crown of beauty
       instead of ashes,
       the oil of gladness
       instead of mourning,
       and a garment of praise
       instead of a spirit of despair.
       They will be called oaks of righteousness,
       a planting of the LORD
       for the display of his splendor.

And this one too:

1 Corinthians 15:58 (New International Version)

 58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Christ is risen.