by Debbie Wilson
Did you know that you can grow up in the church and miss the meaning of Easter? I know, because for many years, I did.
I started attending church nine months before I was born and could recite the historical facts of Good Friday and Easter. I even memorized John 3:16. But, somehow, I missed the personal ramifications of Easter.
That changed when a speaker at middle school camp spoke on the cross, and I realized God didn’t just love the world in general; He loved me. God so loved me that He gave His only Son, that if I would believe in Him, I would not perish but have everlasting life.
It crushed me to realize Jesus had to die for my sins. Yet, after processing what this meant, incredible joy welled up in me. I was clean. My sins were forgiven, and heaven was my destiny. I returned home higher than a helium balloon, singing the camp songs I’d learned. But my high didn’t last.
I was still the impatient person I’d always been. One thing did change. Before I gave my life to Christ, I thought I was a pretty good person. I lost my temper but reasoned I wouldn’t have if someone hadn’t provoked me. After I invited Christ into my life, my impatience bothered me.
Every night, I promised God, “Tomorrow, I’ll do better.” Yet, every day I failed. Knowing Jesus had paid the penalty for my sins comforted me. But I needed power for daily living.
In college, I joined a small group Bible study. The women in the group enjoyed the kind of relationship with God I lacked. They lived as if God was involved in their day-to-day lives. Even though I attended church and read my Bible, I didn’t view the Bible as relevant to my daily living.
My view of God grew as I got to know Jesus better, and the obstacles to trusting Him shrank. I realized my ability to trust the Bible was directly related to how I saw God.
A big God can
- Communicate with His children.
- Preserve the integrity of His Word.
- Provide timeless truths.
I discovered why I hadn’t been able to control my temper. I’d been trying to live the Christian life in my own strength. I learned that only one person has ever successfully lived the Christian life, and He wanted to live through me. The power that raised Jesus from the dead on that first Easter is available to every child of God now.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know…his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephes. 1:18-20 NIV).
Easter is more than a historical fact or holiday; it is the source of hope and power for daily living. God created us to live by faith in His Son. We celebrate Easter every day we live by faith in the Son of God.
“The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20 NIV).
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, was released in February 2020.
Debbie and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.
Join the conversation: What is most meaningful to you this Easter?