Easter for me means two things:
First, celebrating the miraculous resurrection of Jesus after he died a lonely, cruel death to pay for the offenses of those who would choose to believe in Him which is the essence of my faith. Focusing on His resurrection isn't a once a year affair. Hopefully, it is something that swirls around in my heart and mind on a daily basis. However, I absolutely love celebrating on Easter. Part of the reason is because I like holidays, but there is just something about a beautiful spring day that is set aside to wake up, proclaim, "I am not ashamed of the gospel", and gather with friends and family to rejoice that fills my heart. To me, it is fantastic!
Second, Easter weekend a few years ago is when we began taking gifts to dancers at men's clubs. Every Easter I contemplate the strangeness of this ministry. It never gets old. It never gets easy. It never feels normal. I think this is our seventh Easter for Cord of Hope. I'm really bad at time and math, so it may only be six, but either way that's kind of a long time to be continually doing something that there are seemingly no results. I realize there are some of you who are much holier than me and may be thinking, "It's ok! God knows the results of what he is doing in the hearts of the women who get the gifts." Most of the time I feel the exact same way. In the beginning of doing this different ministry, I felt in my spirit God asking me to surrender my desire for results, so I told Him that we would do this ministry as long as He asks us to whether women call us or not, whether we see women come know Jesus or not, whether we feel like it or not. Each Easter, which to me represents another year gone by, I re-up on my promise to him.
This week I've struggled with the why-are-we-doing-this question a little more than normal. I've felt weak and nervous which has also led to timidity. On Sunday Chad talked about walking in the authority of Jesus because His Kingdom is advancing. I had no idea how much I needed to hear that as this week started. This has been my prayer since Sunday night:
I am not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but I have believed and have been saved. (Heb 10:39)
The Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing and forceful [wo]men lay hold of it. (Matt 11:12)
therefore, I will trust that
God has not given me a spirit of timidity, but of love, power, and self-control. (2 Tim 1:7)
and I know that I know that I know
My salvation comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation. He is my fortress. I will never be shaken. (Ps 62:1-2)
Our team will continue to take gifts to these women until with unity we agree that God is asking us to stop. We will continue to trust that He is in complete control and He loves the women much much more than we do. We will obey Him through this ministry with joy, gladness, with hearts full of worship and expectation.
Come, Jesus, and do what only You can do!
If you are interested in reading how this ministry began, please read this post.