My maternal grandmother came from a large hardworking Mennonite family. She knew how to live on little, yet she never complained. Always holding on to hope in the hardest of circumstances. She was continually grateful and had such a beautiful love for her Savior, Jesus.
As a little girl, I remember how much my grandma loved Easter. She took great delight in preparing an Easter egg hunt for her grandchildren. In being thrifty, she would save all her pantyhose containers for this purpose. In the late 70’s, early 80’s, pantyhose were packaged in large shiny gold and silver plastic eggs. To a small child, these eggs were magical, jewel toned treasures.
I can remember the sense of excitement and the flutter of hope I felt, searching for and finding each hidden gem. Afterwards, holding a basket brimming full, knowing that each one held an even sweeter treasure inside. Gently breaking open each egg to find candy treats in all shades of the pastel rainbow.
When I was 14 years old, my grandma went home to be with Jesus. She was the first person to die that I was close to and that I loved. In her last hours on this earth, I prayed fervently for her healing. Believing fully that God would heal her. When God chose eternal healing over earthly healing, I felt confused. Did God not hear me? Did he not care?
After that dark day, I spent many years living in brokenness. Holding hope at a distance. Not believing that God was the giver of good things. Seeking treasures in all the wrong places. It took coming to the end of myself, broken and beaten down by this world, to understand that Jesus was the only way to goodness and life.
In celebrating Easter this year, I watched the delight in my children’s faces as they hunted for jeweled treasures. Again remembering the hope I first held as a small child. Feeling the familiar flutter inside me once more.
This simple tradition that my mom joyfully continues with her grandchildren is a tangible reminder for me. This being, that the greatest treasure came at an even greater cost. Jesus’ body beaten and broken for me, for us all. Yet by God’s power, on the third day, Jesus conquered death and rose again. Restoring our hope and offering everlasting life to all who are willing to receive.
Today, I will continue holding hope close. A hope that is living and breathing, never to be taken from my embrace. I know with certainty that God is the giver of all that is lovely and good. He is taking that which is broken and bringing forth wholeness, healing and new life.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”
Psalms 27:13-14 NASB