Easter is one of my favorite times of the year. Yesterday was Palm Sunday and it is perfect time for some spiritual thoughts and reflection in light of such a festive holiday that soon approaches. As some of you know, recently I have had quite the tumultuous time. Between being caught up in an unexpected downsizing at work and aging parents, in addition to the normal chaos that life can bring, I found myself needing to take reprieve more often than not. One such morning, while visiting my folks’ farm in central Kentucky, I walked one of the hollers that followed an old fence line. I wasn’t really thinking of anything purposeful or important, but as I walked, I was suddenly struck by the beauty of a small stand of yellow daffodils that had cropped out of the bramble and brush. Where all else was dead and barren, brown and crusty, a small patch of floral sunshine peeked out from under the shards left over from last year’s Autumn and the harsh Winter that pounded the Central U.S. As it appealed to my artistic nature, I snapped a few pictures, and reveled in the moment.
Near the outcropping was an old dilapidated broken fence. Continuing on my stroll along this broken-down fence, I found a couple more sunny bursts of hope climbing out from the depths of months of death and dormant decay.
Surrounded by ugly remnants of seasons past, I was confronted by this beautiful floral sunshine, peeking out from under the death and broken-down debris, a thought came to my vacated mind, “How did these flowers get here?” Here I was, following the outer boundaries of the farm and discovered a growth of beauty.
In a setting of a broken past, a setting of lost hope, where no person had set foot in years, these beautiful daffodils find the strength to surmount their challenging circumstances. In fact, beside their strength, the question remains, “Where did they come from?” From where does something of beauty, come from such despair? And it made me think of how the Lord can do miraculous things with a willing vessel. In spite of their broken past, their settings of despair, their dormant and hopeless situation he can bring about a miracle and change the life given him. A new life is possible for those who seek the Lord. Isaiah 61 reads:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted for many generations.
5 Foreigners will be your servants.
They will feed your flocks
and plow your fields
and tend your vineyards.
6 You will be called priests of the Lord,
ministers of our God.
You will feed on the treasures of the nations
and boast in their riches.
7 Instead of shame and dishonor,
you will enjoy a double share of honor.
You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice.
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be recognized
and honored among the nations.
Everyone will realize that they are a people
the Lord has blessed.”
10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
or a bride with her jewels.
11 The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
with plants springing up everywhere.
Easter is a time for new beginnings, new hope, and more importantly, a new life with Jesus. There is hope despite what your seasons of life have looked like. God can bring about sunshine and radiant hope in your chaos and mess. It is possible. Is your life hopeless? Do you feel the shards of brokenness around you? Do you wish for a new life … one with hope?