Come as You Are

Growing up in Trinidad, I knew the importance of Easter Sunday. My mother was a seamstress and made us the most beautiful dresses for Easter. From the kitchen, I could smell the aroma from the various breads and food my mother prepared, which included our own home-grown turkey or duck. When we came to America, my siblings and I continued this tradition with our own families.

We invited our sons and daughter, their spouses and grandchildren to our homes for Easter Sunday meal, which took place after our church services. We were present at Church early because the Church would be packed with current members and people who came for the first time. Everyone came to the Church dressed in their Sunday best on Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday as it is sometimes called.

Resurrection Sunday is extremely important because it commemorates the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who came so we can have life and have it more abundantly. His death was significant, because He bore the sins of humanity, for without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Now, having repented of our sins, having accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and washed with the blood of the Lamb, we have obtained our freedom to come before God as we are.

What does that mean for all of us who will be at home on Easter Sunday because of the Coronavirus Pandemic?

  • We need to understand the seriousness of this pandemic and that thousands of people have died, and that remaining at home will help to stop the spread of the virus.
  • We have access to God regardless of how we feel, where we are, or how we look. We may feel sad, afraid, weakened, abandoned, depressed, overwhelmed, or unloved, but God loves us and invites us to his throne just as we are, and from any area of our homes. Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
  • Similarly, we can come as we are to give God praise, to worship Him, to repent of our wrongdoings, to ask for His forgiveness, to thank Him for His faithfulness, His kindness, His love, and His protection.

May God bless you continually.

Joan M. Blake

How to Experience Peace and Strength during Your Troubles

Troubles come in many different ways. They may come from a family member’s illness, your own illness, a relationship you may have, the death of a loved one, trouble in your business or workplace or your son or daughter’s difficulties. Regardless of the trouble you are facing and the intensity of it, you must be aware by now that troubles do not always go away, and if they do, they may not go away when you want them to. The question to answer is, “What do you do in the meantime”?

The answer to this question depends on the nature of your trouble. For the sake of this article, I will be dealing with a family member’s illness and hope that many of you can identify with what I am experiencing and share your own stories. I have been dealing with my special-needs daughter and her situation for a very long time, and at times, I become weary and wonder when I will get a relief to go on a long vacation. There are many questions I ask myself, but what I do in the meantime is essential. I go to God in prayer, read his word, thank Him for giving me life, while staying busy and active by exercising to decrease my stress level, writing to help others, and eating healthy foods to improve my overall health.

What are you doing in the meantime? Are you feeling overwhelmed, depressed, sad, and lonely from the aftermath of your troubles? God, in his word, says that his grace is sufficient for you, for His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Co.12:9). He is your burden bearer (Matt.11:30), and the lifter of your head (Psalm 3:3). There is nothing you can do in your own strength, only in God’s. When you believe you can do everything in your own strength without the help of God, you may feel the heaviness, and you may blame yourself for your failure. When you release the burden to God by depending totally on Him, by doing your best, while taking care of yourself, God will take care of you. You will experience peace and strength as never before. May God bless you.

Joan M. Blake (author)