A Different Kind of Easter

In 1961, Easter occurred on April 2nd. I was born almost three weeks later on the 21st. This Sunday I will celebrate my 58th Easter, but I’ll do it at home—just me and my husband—in social isolation. Yes, we’ll participate in Zoom Sunday School and FBC’s online service, but it will be the first Easter I haven’t spent at church, gathered together with other believers, worshipping a risen Savior. And while I rejoice for what the day represents—Jesus’ victory over sin and death—I’m sad that a 58-year record will be broken because of this horrible virus. I hate Covid19.

This pandemic is unprecedented. No one alive today has ever experienced anything like it. The repercussions from it will be enormous, more than any of us realize, I’m sure. The ripple-effect will continue long past my time here on this earth, maybe longer than my kid’s lives, or even my grandson’s. It’s frightening to think about, so I try not to. So far, God has kept me pretty calm … given me a peace that passes all understanding, kept me from panicking. At least while I’m awake.

But the dream I had the other night showed me how much this is preying on my subconscious mind. In the midst of this corona mess, I had to have a needle biopsy on something “suspicious” that showed up on a mammogram. Since I’d already traveled the cancer road with my youngest son—the chemo, radiation, surgery, then more chemo—I knew it was a trip I never wanted to make again.

It was after the biopsy, but before I got the pathology report when I had the dream. I was in our store’s delivery van, driving along a power-line clearing with the back doors of the van open. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a lion. In a panic, I scrambled into the back of the van. I needed to close those doors! My movement attracted the attention of the lion and it began running my direction. Though I struggled valiantly with the doors, I was unable to close them. The lion was gaining on me. That’s when I realized the van was still moving forward. In my hurry to get into the back to close the doors, I’d neglected to stop the van and to put it in park. I was rolling straight toward a cliff, but if I left the doors and returned to the driver’s seat to stop the van, the lion would get me. It was a lose/lose situation. Just as the van’s front wheels had nothing but air under them and the lion leapt into the back of the van, I woke up.

While trying to calm my racing heart, I psychoanalyzed my dream. It wasn’t hard to do … the analysis, I mean. The fact that I was driving our store’s van signified concern over our business. The state of North Carolina forced us to close because we’re not considered an “essential business.” I could argue that it’s essential to us, the means by which we make our living, but in an effort to “flatten the curve” we were forced to do something we never wanted to do. I’m not sure if worry about the biopsy was the lion and the cliff was Covid19, or if it was the other way around, but either way, that part of the dream was understandable too.

The next day, I pondered the dream some more and came to this conclusion: the lion represented the enemy, the evil one whose only desire is to kill, steal, and destroy. The Bible tells us that the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (I Pet. 5:8) Satan wants to destroy me. If he can’t do it physically, he’ll try it emotionally and spiritually. Thankfully, God is bigger than the enemy and gives me His armor for the battle: truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Bible, and prayer. (Eph. 6:11-18) I can’t win in my own strength, but wearing God’s armor, I can. With the reminder of John 14:27, my anxiety melted away.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”

 So, even though a 58-year record will be broken on Sunday, April 12, 2020, and I’ll celebrate Easter differently this year, one thing will remain the same: Jesus Christ … the same yesterday, today and forever. He is risen!

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