Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thursday Thinking - Believable, because it's true.

I never believed in the Easter Bunny. He just didn’t make sense. We lived where there were tons of jackrabbits. Literally. They were so destructive to the crops that all the farmers would have rabbit drives. Droves of adults and kids would run through the sage brush hollering and hitting the brush with bats or sticks and scare/herd the rabbits into large wired pens. (Think of it as a demented Easter egg hunt where we looked for the rabbit instead of the eggs.) Nearly every trip to town we counted road kill rabbits in the double digits.

Another reason I couldn’t believe in the Easter Bunny was Grandpa used to come out and load us grandkids in the back of his station wagon and take us up on the hill to target practice on . . . you guessed it, jackrabbits.

But, even if I hadn’t been desensitized to rabbits, I don’t think I would have believed there was an Easter Bunny, because often our Easter baskets were trays just like this one:

Mom spread green Easter grass in the bottom and then made a little pile of jelly beans, a little pile of malt balls, and a little pile of bubble gum eggs along with a few Peeps and Reeses peanut butter eggs and a sprinkling of little, foil-covered, chocolate eggs. Each tray had a little strip of paper with our name on it and she hid them in the house (inside the dryer, the game closet, the kitchen cupboard, under the couch, etc.) and when we woke up Easter morning we looked until we found our “basket.” I’d seen rabbits in the yard. I’d seen rabbits in the pasture. I’d seen rabbits in the fields. I’d seen rabbits in the sagebrush. I’d seen rabbits crossing the road. I knew there was no way a rabbit could hop and carry a tray (let alone ten for each one of us kids) and still keep the candy in neat little piles. No sir, there was no such thing as an Easter Bunny. Reindeer that could fly, yes. But an Easter Bunny that could deliver neat piles of candy on a tray, no.

However there is one part of Easter that made perfect sense to me and that was the story of Jesus being resurrected from the tomb. That was believable. That was real. Incredible as it was, that was something I could grasp as a child and cling to as an adult. It doesn’t matter whether or not others believe it or say it isn’t so, Jesus Christ is real and so was his life, death, and resurrection. And while some stories get better and better with age, the story of Jesus’ resurrection was just as marvelous and powerful and true then as it is now.

There are many stories within the story of that first Easter. Each powerful. Each beautiful.  

One of my favorites was when Jesus had just finished that incredible prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before he was crucified. Typically in Christendom, that Last Supper and prayer in the Garden is celebrated today. After the Passover dinner, Peter, James, and John went with Christ to Gethsemane and waited just outside the gate as He went into the garden to pray and make an Atonement for us.

Shortly after the experience, when Savior rejoined the apostles, Judas Iscariot, also one of his apostles, brought the crowd to arrest Jesus. Peter, who was often impulsive, saw what the crowd intended to do and protectively drew his sword.  To defend the Savior, Peter cut off one of the servant's ears. I imagine there was a cry of pain, clutching of the wound, and a lot of blood (being a head wound and all) besides chaos and shouting. But in the midst of all that the Savior told Peter, “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” and then carefully touched the man’s ear and healed him. Amazing.  And completely believable.

I love that part of the Gethsemane story for three reasons:

One: it reminds me that the Savior has the capabilities to calm and heal no matter the circumstances, no matter the problem.  

Two: it reminds me that when I’m like Peter, exuberant and naive, the Lord can correct my follies and teach me to do better in the process. 

Three: the Lord never loses sight of His purpose.  Never.  Every soul is great in the sight of God.

The best part of this story is it's true.  I don't have to pretend, I don't have to wonder, all I have to do is believe.  

1 comment:

Mattie Lybbert said...

Great thoughts! Never noticed that he turns to Peter and asks if he should not drink this cup when shortly before he was praying to the father to remove this cup from him. Although it's not what he wanted he knew what he had to do. I'm touched by his commitment and love for us.