Monday, April 6, 2015

"Even Agony Will Turn to Glory"

I got some beautiful lilies to bloom on Easter, as a reminder of the redemption made available through Christ's shed blood, death, and resurrection.

It's amazing that the lily is the flower associated with Easter and that the One who Easter is all about sent me a little girl who He whispered to my heart was named Lily Katherine (BOTH names mean "purity and innocence"), as a way to bring me to the foot of the cross, as a symbol of my renewed purity and redemption in Christ.

She fulfilled every purpose He sent her here for, without ever speaking a word or taking a single breath. Yet, He continues to speak loudly and clearly through her life and her death, her name, and her birthdate (March 16... John *3:16*) of His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Seeing a lily now reminds me of my little girl who will forever remain pure and innocent and the work God has done in so many hearts because of her. And on Easter, I rejoice that because of the cross, I will spend Eternity with both my Jesus and my little flower. Because He conquered sin and death and is ALIVE, she is alive too! Oh, how much we have to rejoice over!

The service at my church on Sunday was absolutely beautiful, with many decisions to follow Jesus and baptisms. I'm so thankful for a Pastor who boldly shares the truth of God's Word and both encourages and convicts. I couldn't have stopped the tears of joy and hope even if I tried!


I read an amazingly beautiful post called Triumph of Joy about Easter Sunday on John Piper's blog, Desiring God. I suggest you read the entire thing, but I do want to share some of it here:
"Even agony will turn to glory, but Easter doesn’t suppress our pain. It doesn’t minimize our loss. It bids our burdens stand as they are, in all their weight, with all their threats. And this risen Christ, with the brilliance of indestructible life in his eyes, says, “These too I will claim in the victory. These too will serve your joy. These too, even these, I can make an occasion for rejoicing. I have overcome, and you will more than conquer.” Easter is not an occasion to repress whatever ails you and put on a happy face. Rather, the joy of Easter speaks tenderly to the pains that plague you. Whatever loss you lament, whatever burden weighs you down, Easter says, “It will not always be this way for you. The new age has begun. Jesus has risen, and the kingdom of the Messiah is here. He has conquered death and sin and hell. He is alive and on his throne. And he is putting your enemies, all your enemies, under his feet.” Not only will he remedy what’s wrong in your life and bring glorious order to the mess and vanquish your foe, but he will make your pain, your grief, your loss, your burden, through the deep magic of resurrection, to be a real ingredient in your everlasting joy. You will not only conquer this one day soon, but you will be more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). When he wipes away every tear, our faces glisten more brilliantly than if we never would have cried. Such power is too great to simply return us to the Garden. He ushers us into a garden-city, the New Jerusalem. Easter announces, in the voice of the risen Christ, “Your sorrow will turn into joy” (John 16:20) and “no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). Easter says that the one who has conquered death has now made it the servant of our joy."

And lastly, I want to share an Easter song by one of my favorite musicians of all time, Keith Green. His life and music has made a huge impact on my life. He went to be with Jesus in 1982, at only age 28, several years before I was born, yet his "no compromise" life for Jesus continues to challenge and inspire many. Check out the book about his life, No Compromise, written by his wife, Melody.


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