Hi everyone, I’m Shelly from Growing With Spawn! It’s such an honour to be here, writing a post that stretches very far out of my comfort zone on such a special occasion. Mama Lava and I have bonded over our shared passion for blogging both offline and online. However, what I truly love about her is her passion to share her faith with the world. As a Christian, it is such a beautiful thing to witness, and I admit, it’s something I have been too shy to do. But here we are, stepping away from the typical mental health and lifestyle posts to share something with more value.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”John 3:16
But what does this really mean?
As Christians, we know that verse through and through. It’s the very first scripture that we are taught, and one we can recite in our sleep. God gave up his son Jesus to create a path to heaven. And all we have to do is believe in him, be baptised in his name and declare that we accept him as the Christ. This is the essence of Easter.
From a very early age, I knew about Jesus. My mother was a devout Christian who made sure that we were well-versed in the scriptures. Prayer was a part of our daily routines, and we often prayed in the middle of the night. Church was not just every Sunday, but also in our homes, in the streets and with our loved ones. If you had asked me as a child if I was a Christian, I would tell you with conviction that I was a child of God.
But the interesting thing about faith is that it is useless without works. Just because you do something out of routine, God can look at that and say that you are not doing anything in his name.
Growing up, I was a Christian because it was easy – until it wasn’t.
I lost my (single) mother at the age of 14 to a very difficult health battle. Of course, losing her was the most painful thing that ever happened to me, but what hurt even more was to see her suffer. To see someone who lived the Word transition from this world in such agony. And to top it off, she left two young daughters behind, with no contingency plan. Being a Christian was convenient, until God called my mother, then it was something I ran from out of anger.
As an angry teen, then in my early twenties, just the thought of God made me angry. What started off as losing my mother, became the most traumatising decade of my life. And through it all, I just wondered how God could be so cruel. How could he spite us after all we did for him?
It was during this period of my life that I learnt about Job. Such a faithful servant of God who had all of his riches, his family and his health taken from him. And for what reason? Simply because God allowed Satan to test him, knowing that he was a true servant. Why then was a man like Job who lost far more than I ever did still able to serve a God that would allow the devil to test him?
The answer is simple…
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.James 1:12
So what does Easter mean to you?
As Christians, we remember Easter as the day that Jesus rose from the grave. I’m sure a lot of us have even watched movies resembling Christ’s life where he was scorned, flogged and crucified. But has the true meaning of the sacrifice that God made really sunk in?
I lost my mother to a health condition, not as a sacrifice for someone who showed little interest in her life. And I’m a mother now, but doubt I could ever sacrifice my daughter as Abraham once did with Isaac. So how then can someone like me say with conviction that I am a servant of the Lord?
We eat Easter eggs during this time of the year, because society has convinced us that we should teach our children about the Easter bunny. During Christmas – which isn’t actually Jesus’ birthday, but has been so-named – we sing carols, have a feast and invite Santa and his elves into our homes. And let’s not forget how great it is to be able to say “thank God” or “God forbid” and all of the other sayings that we Christians love to use. Some even use the name Jesus Christ as a swear word when angry or surprised. Is that what Christianity has become?
My faith has faltered over the years, but our God is a loving, faithful God. He is always there with his arms wide open, waiting for his prodigal children to return. And the reward in him is far greater than you can imagine!
No one ever said that being a Christian was meant to be easy, so if there is one lesson I would like to share with you all after the heartbreaking year called 2020, it is that God loves you so much and is inviting you into his kingdom.
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…”Titus 3:5
Happy Easter everyone! Thanks again for allowing me to share my personal story with you. Mama Lava has also written a beautiful piece over on my blog, so please join me in supporting her!