Yesterday, I enjoyed a day with one of my dearest friends, Jule. She and I became friends thirty-nine years ago, because we were pregnant at the same time. Her son, Jeff, and my daughter, Kim, were born only 6 days apart. I benefitted from Jule’s experience because Jule already had two daughters, Molli and Sarah. She took me under her wing, and she is one of God’s greatest gifts to me.
I learned so much from Jule! About the practicalities, like how to make play-dough and painting the outside of the house with water. Using jello water when they were sick with the flu (no Pedia-lite then, or if there was, I certainly couldn’t afford it!). Standing by the tire and waiting while I got Erin out of the car.
More importantly, I learned the value of talking about God and His love in the everyday things that happened. She knew so many children’s songs that we could sing while we went for walks to point out God everywhere. “Who made the sun? God did…And everything that God made was good.”
While we were walking and talking around the lake near her home, we saw one bird with a treat he’d found clamped in his beak. In hot pursuit were two other birds, hoping to get at least a piece of that treasure.
I started to laugh and asked Jule, “Do you remember the time we went for a walk around the block at your house? Molli and Sarah were on their bikes in the front. Jeff rode his Big Wheel and Kim walked next to him. You and I were in the back pushing Erin and Timmy in the strollers. The kids were supposed to stop at the corner and wait for us. Jeff was supposed to let Kim ride the Big Wheel to the next corner; then they’d switch again.
Jeff, of course, didn’t want to share his Big Wheel with Kim, so when they got to the corner, he sped up. Kim ran after him. And you and I struggled to catch up! I don’t remember what we did after we got home. But those birds chasing each other made me think of that day!
We were worried about Kim and Jeff because we couldn’t see them when they went around the corner without us. And angry that they didn’t obey or share. But now, 36 years later, I hold that as a precious memory. One that holds joy and laughter.
Easter: A Time to Remember Who I am in Christ
As we approach Easter, it’s important to pause and remember the who I am in Christ. It’s easy to get bogged down in what I can see at the moment. I see my own faults. I want to escape the parts of my life that are hard. I chase worldly things instead of His Kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
When I do that, I leave God behind. Instead of joy and peace, worry, anger, fear, and impatience fill my heart. That is counter-productive. While recognizing my sin, confessing, and repenting it are necessary, once I do that, I need to remember the truth about who I am in Christ. My mistakes do not define me. I am loved by God. Just like I went after Kim, God pursues me. He doesn’t let me go or give up on me. Nothing can separate me from God’s love. I am free from sin. Charles Swindoll, in his book The Grace Awakening, says I nullify God’s grace and the gift of freedom Jesus paid for with His life when I live like sin still enslaves me (page 102).
I enjoyed my day with my friend yesterday. Remembering the story about Kim and Jeff brought joy to my heart. How much more joy there is in remembering the truth about who I am in Christ.