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Friday, April 20, 2012

A Different Kind of Easter

Hello Sweet Friends.

Happy belated Easter!

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Praise His holy name.
For without His resurrection, His death would have been for naught.
Instead, because He arose we all have a hope that cannot be quenched.

What a wonderful spring we have been experiencing where I live.
The daffodils and tulips have come and gone. The azaleas are now beginning to open. By the week-end they should be in full bloom around my house. Then, I will eagerly await the arrival of irises. As you know from my blog post on July 20, 2011 irises serve to remind me each year of a very special promise God gave me many years ago. A promise that came partly to fruition on Easter Sunday in 1989 and then completely in 1994 - five years later.

If you haven't read it I invite you to check it out. I pray that it blesses your heart. I hope you are enjoying the weather and all of God's wonderful creation wherever you hail from. All we need here is a bit of rain.

Although I have been enjoying the clear blue skies and have already taken time out to relax in my hammock one afternoon after some yard work.

The hammock is where I contemplate the wonders of the universe and brainstorm for my writing projects. A verse that always comes to mind when I am lying there staring up into the azure expanse of sky overhead is one of the first that I memorized as an adult after becoming a Christian.

How manifold are Thy handiworks, O Lord. In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures. Psalm104:24 

I love that verse. It speaks of God's magnificence and His Lordship. How He designed not just a place to keep His creation, but a beautiful, lavish place full of splendor for us to enjoy.
A place where we could see His fingerprints and marvel at His wisdom and power. I am especially struck with this in the springtime.

Spring is one of my four favorite seasons.
Did you ever ponder what season God started with when He made the earth?
I bet it was spring.

Spring brings with it a sense of awe at a fresh new beginning; for the earth and for us as well. When we seek His forgiveness and receive our gift of eternal salvation, we are made brand new.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (New American Standard)

How incredibly pristine the earth must have been right after God called it into existence.  That's how new, fresh and spotless we are before Him. Once our sins are confessed, the Bible says He remembers them no more. He doesn't hold them over our head and throw them up in our face later.
 They are gone!

. . . for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. Jeremiah 31:34 (NAS)

As far as the east is from the west,
So far He has removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12 (NAS)

Spring brings Easter, which has always been a special holiday for me. During childhood I anticipated its arrival each year with visions of spring blossoms, real-live bunnies and creamy, rich chocolate dancing in my head.

Easter had all of my favorite things rolled into one bright shiny egg.

Mmmm. Chocolate.
Whoops! I just drooled a little.
Some of you may be able to relate to that response.
Thank you, Dr.Pavlov!

Excuse me, as I was saying;
after my salvation in 1978, Easter took on a more precious and lasting meaning. Each year, all over again I am in awe of what an amazing gift the Lord Jesus gave me. An eternal gift, one that would last for all eternity . . . life everlasting . . . in Heaven in His presence. Me.

He took my sins upon Himself, suffered on the cross, died, was buried, laid in the grave three days and then rose out of the grave defeating sin and death once and for all!

What an an awesome God, who loves us enough to offer up His only Son that we too might live!

This year in the dusky hours of Easter Sunday morning before I was out of bed, the phone rang.
The news was not good.

My cousin's 17 year old son had been in a car accident three hours away near my hometown. He had been heliported during the night to Shock Trauma near where I live.
He was thrown from his truck, received a head injury and was unresponsive. As a nurse all kinds of unwanted information flooded into my head and with it a very real concern for Ted's (name changed) life and full recovery.

I immediately began to pray and asked God to fill my thoughts with hope in Him and to heal Ted completely, and quickly. I prayed for comfort and peace to surround my family that were gathered in the Shock Trauma waiting area.

Instead of putting on my Easter dress and going to church, I dressed in jeans and headed over to the hospital. Driving there I prayed for God to give the staff knowledge of what to do during those critical hours.
Ultimately, I knew the Lord was the only one who could totally heal and restore Ted. The rest of his days and the quality of them was up to Him.

Arriving at Shock trauma, I found my family and gave them all big, hugs, holding their aching hearts close to mine. Few words were exchanged. It felt surreal.

Prayer was all we could offer. It was all that was needed.

My heart bowed at the feet of Jesus, not the blood-stained feet nailed to the cross but the perfect and whole feet of my risen Savior. As we sat in silence each praying heart-wrenching prayers, I began to feel that the room was full, although there were only five of us there.
It felt as if there was a crowd all around us. There was a comforting unseen presence.
My cousin, Ted's mother said, " I feel really calm. I don't understand it, but I do."

Peace settled in and around tucking us securely with a blanket of comfort that during these circumstances only the Lord could provide.

We were experiencing what the Bible tells us.
"the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds."  Philippians 4:14 (NAS)

I thought of the significance of Easter, Christ raised from the dead. He was alive now and with us, bringing us peace as He promised. The Holy Spirit was interceding for Ted at this very moment.

Easter is a celebration of life.
Yet down the hall our precious boy's life hung in the balance of uncertainty.
One thing was for certain. God was in control. He is all powerful. He raised Jesus. Jesus raised Lazarus.
Even though we didn't know the future we knew the One who did.
The One who is the great omnipotent I AM.

He could be trusted.
His ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55:8
They are perfect.

Word went out. People were praying all up and down the east coast and even Colorado and Texas. He was in good hands. The hands of our Lord Jesus whose body was restored completely and who is alive today.

Within two days Ted opened his eyes and gave a thumbs up! As you can imagine, there were tears of relief and joy!
He was taken off the respirator. As soon as he could talk he asked what any 17 year-old would ask; about his truck and phone. Next, he proceeded to walk the loop around Shock trauma. Within a few days he was transferred to a rehab facility which is normal procedure for head trauma follow-up.
Just 12 days after the accident, he was discharged home. Whole and complete.

Praise be to the Father. All the glory is His.

He heard and chose to answer our prayers with Ted's complete healing.
My prayers now are that God will use this experience to draw us even closer to Himself and that Ted will continue to grow and become a great man of God, sharing His love with others.

Yes, this was a very different Easter, one where God demonstrated how very much alive and present He really is.

His love is ALIVE!

(c) 2012 Bonnie Mae Evans


Evelyn R. said...

What a powerful testimony for the Lord, our Savior! Wonderful story, Bonnie. Prayer certainly changes things, doesn't it? Complete FAITH in a LIVING GOD is key to the wonderful things He is able and willing to do for His children. God bless you and your family. In Christ's love, Evelyn R.

Bonnie Mae Evans said...

Thank you, dear friend. I am so thankful there is nothing too hard for our Lord!