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Just dropping by... God’s Easter egg hunt

Yevet Crandell Tenney for Progressive Dairy Published on 31 March 2022

As I watch the stores fill up with over-stuffed Easter bunnies, baskets and chocolate eggs, I scurry around preparing for that wonderful day when the Easter Bunny hops into a perfectly green yard and hides eggs and little gifts among the shiny red tulips, golden daffodils and brilliant blue crocuses for children.

My grass is still winter brown mixed with patches of green, and the daffodils, tulips and crocuses are just poking through the ground. Spring seems so far away. Will my yard ever be perfect?

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In my childhood, Easter was such a glorious time. Friday we would spend hours boiling eggs and coloring them in magical colors of the rainbow. On Saturday, we would have a huge family picnic out in the forest under the pines or out on the range near the sand dunes. Daddy and Mom would hide the eggs and we would find them among the rocks, grass bumps and tree branches. Everywhere we would look there would be a pink, blue or yellow egg to add to our baskets. Squeals of laughter and enjoyment filled the air for many hours.

Sunday we would go to church dressed in beautiful new dresses Mother had so carefully sewn weeks before. In church, we would sing reverent music and review the story of the resurrection. The teacher would explain how the magic of Easter was a representation of the new life that Christ gave to all men and women when he died on the cross and rose from the tomb on the third day.

My parents made sure the real meaning of Easter clearly eclipsed the Easter eggs, bunnies and candy. Easter meant so much more. We should walk in newness of life and follow the footsteps of Jesus, looking for His blessings just as eagerly as we looked for the eggs on the Easter egg hunt.

The pandemic sifts through our lives like a never-ending fog. We wait for the world around us to magically change into a much-needed springtime. Everywhere I turn, I hear something about the hard times that are coming. Images of empty shelves splatter newsfeeds, talk of war in this country or that and natural disasters with shattered houses, shattered dreams and shattered lives mount in epic proportions.

Suffering is real and eminent in our lives. I can’t help but feel nervous as I hear stories of despair and loss. I am not alone in my feelings. Many are confused and lonely in their struggles. More than ever before, we need the message of Easter. We need to have life brand new. We need spring to come with her infusion of hope.

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Several years ago, I thought I would take the Bible at its word when it says,

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
—Matthew 7:7 KJV

At the time, I was struggling with my identity and working through issues as a single woman with no marriage prospects. I had developed the habit of jogging to exercise my body and praying to exercise my spirit. In a church meeting, someone suggested that I pray for a spiritual experience. A spiritual experience is an experience where you get a flash of what eternity is like. You understand more deeply the things of a divine nature, and you get personal direction for your life. You receive an answer to your prayer in real time. You get a special manifestation that God is truly aware of you and your circumstance. I was willing to try anything. Despair was a close companion.

Early one morning, I asked for my spiritual experience. All day I waited. I began to be a little disappointed as the day wore on, but asking in faith has nothing to do with doubt, so I pushed the doubtful inclinations from my mind and continued to wait.

In the early evening I went jogging. At that time, I could jog-walk about 8 miles. I usually went out into the trees across country on a two-track road. It was a solitary time when I could meditate and sort out my world. That day, I had gone about 3 miles out. I was troubled, so I had slowed my jog to a walk. I climbed a little hill meditating on the disappointment of my unanswered morning prayer. Off in the distance, I noticed something black flapping in the wind on a cedar tree. Curious, I moved toward it. As I got close, I could see it was a live crow hanging from the tree. I immediately became furious at the person who had tied the animal in a tree to die. People could be so cruel.

I hurried my steps and reached the tree. My anger subsided as I realized the crow had gotten into the predicament himself. A plastic six-pack holder had blown into the tree, and the curious bird had tangled both feet and was frantically trying to free himself by flapping and flailing in the wind. He was hopelessly caught. I knew the only chance for the bird would be for me to help him, but I also knew that wild animals can be vicious. A crow’s talons and beak can be dangerous even to a good Samaritan.

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I reached out carefully and clasped my hands around the black wings. To my surprise and delight, the bird stopped struggling and rested quietly in my hands until I freed his feet. When he was free, I sat him on my arm. To my amazement, he rested there for a moment like a tame parrot. He moved his wings to test his freedom. Then he flapped his wings and lifted off into the sky. As I watched him soar against the clear blue of the sky with the sun shimmering on his blue-black wings in the fading light, tears unexpectedly slid down my cheeks. I envied his freedom. I wished I could fly.

Then my awaited answer came. I was free. I could soar in spiritual heavens because Christ spent time on the cross for me. He paid for my stupidity and sinful nature, and I was free to walk in newness of life. He had also freed me from the prison of the grave. Death would spring into new life, and I would live again after I died. I would see my loved ones again. What a glorious blessing.

Then the realization came. He had answered my prayers in a tender loving parable, just as He taught His followers of His day on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. His promise to give if I asked was real. He would give me direction if I asked Him. I would never be alone if He were with me. I wept out my gratitude on my knees for that glorious understanding. Peace beyond understanding filled my heart as I walked home.

The world needs that kind of peace and hope. There are answers just as clearly as there is Easter, but we need to prepare for His Easter egg hunt by asking to be at His picnic. His Easter eggs are hidden in a glorious perfect garden where the grass is always emerald green and the shiny red tulips, golden daffodils and brilliant blue crocuses are always blooming. We only need to open the gate and enter the garden. There,
we will discover the rainbow of blessings prepared for those who love Him. In His garden there is plenty of hope to guide us through these troubled times. A popular Christian song written by McKenna Hixson says it all:

There is peace in Christ
When we learn of him
Feel the love He felt for us
When he bore our sins

Listen to his words
Let them come alive
If we know Him as he is
There is peace in Christ

He gives us hope
When hope is gone
He gives us strength
When we can’t go on
He gives us shelter
In the storms of life
When there’s no peace on earth
There is peace in Christ

There is peace in Christ
When we walk with him
Through the streets of Galilee
To Jerusalem
Mend the broken hearts
Dry the tear-filled eyes
When we live the way He lived
There is peace in Christ  
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Yevet Crandell Tenney is a Christian columnist who loves American values and traditions. She writes about faith, family and freedom.

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