Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Devotional 91 - Easy Easter

"Nothing was ever made easy for her. She was too precious to spoil by the easy." Amy Carmichael Let the Children Come by Lois Hoadley Dick

John 19:17-18 "And He, bearing His cross,went out to a place called the Place of a Skull...where they crucified Him..."

There was nothing easy about Easter. Our Lord suffered great physical and mental anguish to secure us a safe, forgiven home with God. There was nothing easy for the disciples who ran in fear for their lives and suffered the anguish of abandoning their Lord. There was nothing easy for Mary who watched the horrific suffering of her son, the Son of God.

And yet, Easter is about joy---great joy!! Through His suffering came our joy! And even in the hard task of dying, Jesus who is "the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross..." Hebrews 12:2

Jesus could endure because of the glorious future ahead. We, too can endure, because He has purchased that same future for those of us who believe.

I finished another book on Amy Carmichael who began orphanages and schools for children in India. After reading about the deep struggles for the souls of men, women, children; the loss of so much life; the painful suffering from disease; lack of sleep; I asked "Why Lord?". Where was the blessing for Amy who traveled one thousand miles to save a baby only to have it die in her arms five days later? Where was the blessing when Ponnamel, a beloved Indian friend trained for leadership, dies a slow death from cancer? What blessing when Kohila, saved as a child by Amy from temple prostitution, trained as a head nurse, fell to her death from a mountainside?

The last twenty years of Amy's life were filled with constant pain.

On one of her worst days, Amy imagined the Lord saying to her, "It is finished."...Regret flooded her soul. "Thou wouldst say, So soon? Let me go back and suffer yet awhile more patiently: I have not yet praised God." Amy Carmichael Let the Children Come pg. 154

The pain was worth it for Amy because she would see God -His comfort, His presence. She was not spoiled by easy living. The Easter message of joy in Christ and peace with God drove her to keep God's perspective in tough times.

May God grant us the grace to embrace all He brings into our lives, whether pleasure or sorrow, and to display to a hurting world the superior desirableness of Christ.

Easter was not easy, but it was destined and necessary and brings joy around the world. Praise God with me now for this yearly reminder of His love.