Happy Spring! After a winter of frequent illnesses, it is so good to fling open the windows and welcome the warm, fresh air to fill our apartment! Spring also brings Easter, the reason for our hope—the reason we can walk through this life without fear—no matter what is happening around us. I know what it is to be pressed down under fear, and I know what it is to walk in freedom with Jesus. It literally feels like heavy fetters have fallen away from me, allowing my spirit to run and jump and dance. (Oh, if only my body would cooperate!) This is one of many reasons why my heart burns with love for Jesus, and I cannot keep from talking about Him. He deserves our utmost praise, and I want everyone else to know this freedom, peace, purpose and joy.
This life is so very hard at times. But Jesus puts it into perspective. It’s like basic training for what lies ahead—life with Him, in paradise, forever. I know people who work jobs they hate in the hope of a good and comfortable retirement one day. Yet, they don’t even know if they will be here to enjoy that retirement. We press on in serving the Lord through whatever life and our enemy throw our way, with the assurance of the most amazing retirement plan ever imagined (actually “beyond all we could ask or imagine” Ephesians 3:20)! For this reason, we can take every step, no matter how painful, with a joy set before us.
Do you realize you were Jesus’ joy as he faced the cross? Hebrews 12:2 says, “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.” He knew what crucifixion was. He knew what He was going to endure. This is why He was in so much anguish that He sweat drops of blood as He asked the Father if there could be another way. Yet He finished with, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” And then, with the joy of providing a bridge to God for you and for me, with joy in paying the penalty for our sins, He endured the cross. And now He intercedes for us constantly! I wonder how many times He has said of me in my follies and failures and sins, “She is just dust. And she was bought with my blood. She is my pure, white, spotless bride.” Truly amazing grace it is!