As I was walking around the local mall here in Boise at 5:30 am, I asked the Lord what He would want me to share about Him this Easter week. Every year I try and write something that reflects what He did for all of us 2000 years ago. As I walked and prayed, my heart and mind became overwhelmed with the Easter memories my wife and I had with our son and his family in Los Angeles.
During those days he pastored a small congregation in downtown LA called the Jefferson Street church. My wife, Myrna and I only lived a couple of hours away. Therefore we could help him occasionally with his church, particularly during Easter week, which was our favorite week of the year. Now it takes us about 35 hours of flights, delays, and driving to get to his new home in Didi Tchkoni.
As I walked the mall, my thoughts began to dwell on the last goodbyes said when he and his family flew out on Turkish Airlines. “Leaving now, goodbye, love you, love you.”
Of course, we visited them later on, and what a joyous reunion that was, as his whole family came to the Georgian airport to pick us up. Tears of joy, hugs, and loving words were exchanged, for it had been over a year since we had last seen them.
As I walked my 3rd lap around the mall, God began to put on my mind what His death, resurrection, and ascension must have been like for His disciples and followers. When He was taken to the grave and sealed away with a stone, the loss they all felt must have been unbearable. Maybe to a smaller degree, this is what my wife and I felt when driving home from the LA airport. Loss, separation, and the reality they are truly gone hit us hard.
But then, when Jesus came out of the grave and began spending time with those who followed and believed in Him, what a joy that must have been. Like the joy, we felt when seeing my son and his family again at that Georgian airport. And as we talked and talked so did Jesus with His followers for 40 days no less, so that they would understand everything that happened, and what was going to happen in the future.
Before leaving for heaven, He told His followers He would return, which brought great joy and peace to their hearts to the end of their days. Perhaps like the joy we felt, knowing that after we left Georgia, we would see my son and his family again. And we did, just as Jesus will fulfill His promise to return just at the right time. Meanwhile, we rely on that promise and go about living our lives in such a way that it will please Him and bring others to His table of salvation.
Have a wonderful Easter, and may you renew the joy of knowing Him wherever you worship on Sunday.