Suicide rates are climbing. Uncertainty fills the air like a bonfire on lighter fluid. The air swirls heavy and dark around us, smothering at times. We breathe deeply to steady ourselves.
Then fear comes at us again, like a wasp that won't leave us alone. Or like an evil character in a nightmare we try so hard to escape from.
For some, it is fear of the virus itself. Of losing our health. Or fear of losing a dear loved one whose systems are already compromised. And for some, this fear becomes a reality and their world will never be the same.
Others watch as their business they had been dreaming about building since their young days, pouring their aspiring ideas and overflowing energy into, evaporates away like dew on grass.
Others find themselves trying to work their job from home while becoming a full-time homeschool teacher overnight. Hats multiplied. Their pay has been cut, and they wonder how they can keep all these balls in the air and pay the bills.
Graduates and brides-to-be mourn as they cancel celebrations and ceremonies.
Elderly cry in loneliness, shut away from the world in their room.
For others it's the unsettling feeling that there is more going on. That power players are using this to further take away our freedoms, monitor our movements and pull us apart from one another. They watch as neighbors yell at each other for not obeying the new rules well enough, or they call the government hotline to turn them in. They listen as an expert tells us we should never shake hands again moving forward. And they wonder if our world will ever look the same.
Whatever that dark cloud we are all playing a wrestling match with looks like, we can always land at a place of peace.
All because of Easter.
It is not just a one-day event but an ever-present truth.
When the beloved son of the creator of the universe broke the chains of death. Broke every chain of darkness. Broke every stronghold of sin that separated us from our Abba Father.
The grave could not contain him. Imagine!
No wonder Jesus tells us, "Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28) "My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27b)
He promises eternal life of all light and love where we will forever be in his presence if we only believe in this Easter story.
"For God so loved the world that he gave is one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Easter reminds us that as Jesus broke through darkness, so can we through him. We can shine his light like never before. Light shines brightest in darkness.
And we see this. People making masks, shopping for the elderly, connecting with their families like never before, rewriting dreams, encouraging one another and praying together through computer apps… Telling hurting and afraid people of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Easter celebration has passed. But Easter has not. God wins now and always. And he calls us all to be part of his family. When we run to him, we find love and peace like never before. His loving arms are big enough to hold us all. That is his heart.