I received an email from a dear friend of mine yesterday.  In it, she mentioned that she wanted to send out an Easter story to her Awana youth ministry kids.  However, she revealed, she’s not a writer…but I am, so she asked if I might be able to come up with something that could be read, potentially, by both the kids and their parents.

My first response was, “no” essentially… I do have many stories that center around the cross, which is what I first think of when I think of Easter, but I don’t think I had any that really related to Easter as a holiday.  But, my friend asked for my help, so I would see what I could do.

I prayed about it…and prayed about it…and with it being a Saturday, I decided to lay down for my afternoon siesta (don’t naps sound more sophisticated in a different language?!!) and God woke me with a start!  I began thinking about the story, and I immediately had an idea.

“…do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.”   Mark 13:11

I quickly sat up, grabbed a notebook, and began writing (much to the chagrin of Jax who had been sound asleep until I started thrashing about!).  My squiggles were practically illegible as I wrote, trying to get all of the ideas down as fast as I could, then bounded out of bed and nearly ran down the stairs to get my thoughts on the computer.

I prayed, as I always do before writing, but especially because this would be a stretch.  I write about how God works in my life, not fictional stories.  I asked God to intercede and make this His own…and I am in awe at how God guides my hands and thoughts.  Oh, I praise Him for using me.  What an honor and incredible blessing!

The story that follows is what God allowed me to write.  His answer to my feeble prayer does not disappoint, and has absolutely nothing to do with my first obscure scrawls; praise Him for that!!  🙂  Enjoy!

The Hunt

“Hurry up; we’re going to be late!!”  My heart’s pounding so hard in my chest I can feel it in my throat. 

“All the kids are lining up… come on, Mom!!”

I’m desperate to get to the edge of the parking lot along with the other kids, and when I finally reach the grass my eyes survey the landscape.

“Where is it??  I can’t see it!”  I think to myself as my eyes dart from one tree to the next…

“I have to find it!!”

I scan the horizon; flecks of red, blue, purple, and pink dot the plush green canvas… I can almost hear them laughing as if taunting me from where they lie.

I look at my competition lining up around me; tall, short, snotty noses, long hair, sparkly pink and green Easter baskets…

I turn my eyes back to the expanse of grass before me and let out a breath as my heart pounds excitedly.  

Everyone is quiet now…

“On your marks!”  A voice calls out.

I swallow hard.

“Get set!

I hold my breath and wait…

“GOOOOO!!”

There’s a flurry of motion, kids running this way and that.  We dash out into the cool wet grass, and I stay in a straight path headed toward the outer edge of the grassy field.  Kids cross in front of me running to the left, while others sprint to the right… but I stay the course.

One little kid falls and lands on his belly…

“Mooommeeeeee!!” he cries.

“Yes!  One down…” I smile as I pass.

I dodge kids bending over to pick up eggs, and hurdle others.

Greens, blues, and yellows polka dot the grass as I continue running…

“Hey kid!  You’re passing all the eggs!”  Someone yelled to me…

But I didn’t listen. 

“There’s one special egg” the announcer had said, “a golden egg.”

That thought kept me going… “It’s gotta’ be out there.”

Now, I have done enough Easter egg hunts to know, that a colorful egg filled with 3 jelly beans or a chocolate isn’t enough for me.  The prize, the one worth seeking, is the golden egg.  That egg leads to the real treasure.  The huge, gleaming, basket set aside for that lucky kid that finds that one lucky egg.  The basket filled with limitless treasure… countless joy… inexplicable happiness…

Then I saw it. 

Not 20 feet away, it glimmered in the sunlight. 

My heart skips a beat and I pick up my pace.  I hear footsteps behind me as I run toward that glistening orb.

10 feet…

5 feet…

“It’s almost mine!!”

I feel the brush of wind as someone runs past, leaps in front of me and grabs the beautiful golden egg.

I stop dead in my tracks. 

“It can’t be,” I gasp.

I stand perfectly still and stare at the kid that beat me to my prize, his face radiant as he carefully cradles that precious gift.

I turn back to see all the other kids walking back to their cars, smiles on their faces, hand in hand with their moms and dads, baskets brimming over with their alluring rainbow eggs.

I look down at my basket… nothing.

As my eyes fill with tears, I notice a golden glow surrounding me.  I blink, clear my eyes wiping the tears away, and notice thousands of golden eggs at my feet.  I bend over, stunned, and pick up one of the gleaming eggs. 

I look at the boy who beat me to my prize.  Our eyes meet, an egg in his hand an egg in mine, and a knowing smile on his face.

I instantly turn toward the other kids…where are they going?  There’s one for each of them, and more besides…  I call to them but they continue walking, satisfied with their haul and blind to what they really need.

I look down at the wonderful gift I’m holding and realize it had been there the whole time, I just wasn’t looking.  

 

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”   Matthew 7:13-14

Like children at an Easter egg hunt, drawn to the promise of sweet satisfaction within a brightly colored package; jelly beans, sweet tarts, chocolate…  Things that satisfy but only for a moment, until we are left searching again for the next empty promise.

But that one golden ticket, if found will not only fill our every desire, but will quench our thirst and satisfy our hunger…

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’”   John 6:35

The one prize; unimaginable until revealed, unbelievable until eyes are opened, unacceptable until understood. 

The gift so fulfilling, the prize worth seeking, and the promise so real it can only be found when searched for…

is Jesus.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ”   Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”    Romans 6:23

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   Romans 5:8

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”   Romans 10:9

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