Today is Easter Sunday. I had grand plans for this weekend. We were going to put on a play, re-enacting the crucifixion. I was going to get up early and take the kids to the sunrise service and family breakfast at our church. But then just like dominoes falling, my kids got sick. I medicated them enough to get us to church, mostly so they could wear their easter outfits they’d been saving in their closets for the better part of a month. I tried to contain the hacking and coughing and snot to the back row. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken them to church. I’m missing my husband today especially. We are not even half-way through his month long trip to Africa and I’m ready for him to come home now. Our king-sized bed has been taken over by one child who is waking up with nightmares and insomnia, another who no matter how many times I return her to her own bed she re-appears in mine, and another sweet baby whom I nurse to sleep. I’m usually too tired to return her to her crib so she cuddles with me. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone. I wake up in the morning wondering if I went to sleep.
I should feel more spiritual than this. After all, Easter Sunday is the pinnacle of our faith. The resurrected life. Someone called me the ‘hero missionary’ the other day and I can’t explain how wrong this is. I am no hero. Since we have determined to move our family to the mission field, I have struggled more than I can remember with my flesh. I feel like I’ve been found out. I’m not in as good of shape as I thought. My spirit has been conditioned to having my needs met and being under-challenged. Now that more is being asked of us, my spiritual muscles are proving to be sore and not strong enough. Living a life of faith is tough. God knows we can fake it, when our needs are being met. But what happens when things we depend on our stripped away? Where do we turn for strength? Do we lash out at others? Raid the bag of leftover peanut m&m’s? I’m afraid I’m guilty of both.
Jesus, in your wisdom and loving touch, wipe the mud off my eyes today. I want to see clearly the hope you’ve laid before us. You endured the pain and suffering of the cross without blaming anyone, without complaint. Your heart rested in obedience to the Father. Today let my heart rest in obedience to you. I don’t put confidence in my flesh and I thank you for strengthening my spirit. You know what lies ahead and the endurance we will need.
My middle daughter asked if she could wash our feet on Good Friday. This wasn’t in my plans. As she carefully washed and dried our feet, smiling from ear to ear, my heart burned within me. Jesus came to serve, to find joy in doing the dirty work no one wants to do. He did not come to be served, to be the hero-God and live a lavish life. He didn’t strive to ‘be somebody.’
I am so grateful our God is alive. He is the hero. He gets the glory.