I was thinking today as I was helping to get ready for our alternative Palm Sunday service, there’s never been an Easter like this.
There’s never been a Palm Sunday that I wasn’t almost unsuccessfully trying to herd a group of children into line, keep them somewhat quiet until it’s their time to go, and repeatedly saying, “Your palm leaf is not a weapon!”.
There’s never been an Easter that I wasn’t prepared at this point, or at least had a decent list of what was going in each Easter basket, with each kid specifically in mind.
There’s never been an Easter that I didn’t already have at least a few hundred eggs stuffed with candy and a plan (and rain plan) in place for an Easter morning egg hunt.
There’s never been an Easter that the plans for Holy Week weren’t already in place, with advertising done and everything ready to go.
There’s never been an Easter that our outfits weren’t already coordinated and purchased, ready for before church pictures.
There’s also never been an Easter that I’ve stopped and prayed this much leading up to Holy Week.
And there’s never been an Easter that I felt the tension and pain in the days before, more than the excitement.
And there’s never been an Easter that the concept of sacrifice was such a prevalent part of my preparations.
And there’s never been an Easter that made me look forward to the rebirth of everything around me quite like this one has.
So, maybe there has been an Easter kinda like this, I just never thought about it before now.
Today was so heavy. Much like yesterday, but even more so. That’s how everyday has felt for a while now – like an incredibly heavy weight that somehow grows each day. I see it in the actions of my boys as they try to understand their new reality. I see it in the texts from friends as they try to keep their own world spinning , while also checking in on each other. I see it in the emails from teachers as they obviously miss their students more each day. I see it in all the posts of everyone encouraging each other to get to the other side of this insanity. I see it in my face as I look in the mirror wondering how on earth I made it through this day. We all want to help. We all want to fix it. We all want to make everything ok for everyone we can. We’re all doing all we can, and then a little more. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this exhausted and this helpless all at the same time.
Today was the day it almost got too heavy. I made it through what I thought was the majority of my day, with little energy left when I found out I had a lot of work left to do. I help to direct a backpack ministry for local schools for my church. News came very late in the day that we would have a big job to tackle of providing food to families as the school district would no longer be able to because of health concerns. After making calls, making a plan, and engaging amazing volunteers, I started to melt. I felt so weak and the weight so heavy.
Then God yelled at me, as He often has to do, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). If I ever thought I was weary before, boy, was I wrong. This has to be the heaviest weight I’ve tried to carry so far – uncertainty, anxiety, fear, overwhelm, and exhaustion all at the same time. Even so, He wants it. God is offering to take it all from me and let me rest.
And that rest, that beautiful, peaceful rest is the only reason I will be able to get up and take on tomorrow and everything it has to throw my way. I am so thankful for the rest and the relief from the burdens of right now. I know that I will continue to need that for quite a while, and I’m so grateful it will never run out.