Every year we have an egg hunt at our farm. We have done it since our daughter was about 2 years old, I suppose. She will be 8 tomorrow. (How did that happen?!) We invite family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and through the years, neighbors have brought friends, friends have brought other family members, and so on and so forth. Everyone is welcome! My favorite part of the whole thing is just watching how kids interact with each other. The adults present usually either stick close to their children or stick close to the other adults they know. But the kids….
The kids just play with each other. It doesn’t matter if they are best friends from school or if they have never met, it is just one big happy family that day among those children. They laugh and run and find eggs and eat candy and help the youngest hunters get a fair share and just love the day and each other. They are different ages and sizes and colors, but on the day of the Egg Hunt, they are all just kids having fun together.
I think that’s why Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is for such as these. The disciples, just like we often do today, tried to hush the children and keep them from bothering Jesus while He was teaching. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19: 14) Children just keep things so simple. They don’t complicate things with their insecurities or doubts.
My daughter broke her arm in January. Seven weeks in a long arm cast and she never complained. Even the evening she broke it, she was so stoic about it. She said, “Well, at least it’s not during the summer so I will be able to swim!” Then, the day before we were to leave for a beach trip for Spring break, she broke it again! Same place, same arm. I would have moaned and groaned and would still be feeling sorry for myself. She looked at it as an opportunity to try a new cast color and said, “Well, at least it didn’t happen while we were on our trip!” This young lady has taught me so much in the past three months about perseverance, tenacity, and the power of a positive attitude. We are both a little weary of this long arm cast business, but I can say unequivocally that she has handled it far better than I have!
We can learn so much from children as we move closer to Easter Sunday. Our whole purpose in life is to reflect Jesus to the world, and lately, I have been moved by the way children do just that, often unknowingly. By loving one another without conditions, by taking life in stride and keeping a perspective on the bigger picture, by being just who they are without another agenda, children are often the direct reflection of their Creator.
And when I think of how much I love my children, sweet Ada Lynn and passionate Luke, I cannot imagine giving them up for anything or anyone else. But God did just that. He let His Son suffer and die for you and for me. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t do a very good job of reflecting Jesus to the world. I love Him and I try, but my light is often pretty dim and I fail daily. But He loved me so much, despite myself, that He let Jesus die…for me…for you. It shakes me to my core.
One of my favorite Easter (and anytime!) songs is “Because He Lives.” Parenthood can be scary. There are lots of unknowns and uncertainties in this old world, and I know I cannot always control everything that happens to my babies. But when I feel scared or anxious about their future, I remember God’s great sacrifice and the second verse to this song: How sweet to hold a newborn baby, And feel the pride and joy he gives; But greater still the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days because He Lives! Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!
Jesus lives, y’all! And He loves you and me! And He loves our children! We can trust Him and know, that no matter what we face, He is bigger and has a better plan. And when in doubt, check your reflection and make sure it looks like that of a child.
God bless, Allison Key, MD