I saw it everywhere on social media this past weekend. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were laden with images and text declaring that Easter was the day that changed everything! It is true. The death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events in the history of the world. When Jesus took our place on the cross, paid the price for our sins, and rose victorious on Easter morning, He defeated sin and death once and for all. It doesn’t get more important than that.
The most important event in history. And how do I respond? How does it impact my life? Now that the celebration is over, do I go about my business? Or am I fundamentally changed?
On and off over the past two years, I’ve been practicing the meditative study of scripture known as Lectio Divina (the divine reading). It’s a way of meditating on a short segment of the Bible. First I read the the passage slowly. Then I read it again and listen for a particular word or phrase that stands out. I silently reflect on it, pondering what it means in my life, why God might have placed it on my heart. Then I respond, most often by writing what I feel Jesus saying to me through that scripture. Finally, I re-read the scripture and simply rest. I let the words and reassurance of God’s love wash over me.
As I was contemplating what to write in the wake of Easter, I flipped back through the pages of my journal from the spring of 2014 when my life shattered from a stress-induced emotional and physical breakdown. On May 30, 2014, I meditated on John 1:3-5. I’d like to share the unedited message that God put on my heart that day through this divine reading, and I pray that it speaks to you as you live your life in the truth of Easter.
Step 1: Read (Lectio)
Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. – John 1:3-5
Step 2: Reflect (Meditatio)
What is this life that is the light of men? Jesus! Jesus is our life. We were made through Him. We have His light within us. What, then, is the light? Is it my Soul? Spirit? Love? Essence? Whatever it is, it is completely separate from the darkness.
There is some essence in me – The Word. Jesus. Light. That is connected to the very beginning – to the Word that was God and is God. How do I access it? How do I let it be the essence of my being?
Step 3: Respond (Oratio)
Yes, you have both light and darkness within you. The light is my very being – The Word that was God and was with God in the beginning – Me, Jesus. The darkness is also there – your innate sin from Adam. It will cause you great trouble in this life and it cannot understand my light that is also right there.
It is a constant struggle for you…which to let reign in your heart and mind. I know it seems so simple…just choose light! Choose me, Jesus. You know this, you feel it, yet the darkness consumes you to where the light is no longer understood. My light and life is always within you. You must actively seek it and feel it every moment of every day. It is more powerful than the darkness. Set your heart and mind upon the light to chase away the darkness because the darkness doesn’t stand a chance against my light. Arm yourself with sword of truth – the WORD. Pray unceasingly to me. LET GO of your sin because I no longer see it upon you because of Christ’s love and sacrifice for you.
You worry about so many things, that is choosing darkness. Do not worry – choose light! Yes, it means giving up control. It means acknowledging that you’ve been chasing the wrong things your entire life. Whatever is good, lovely, peaceful, true – fix your mind on these things. They are gifts of the light. They are me. They are for you. I am with you, part of you – always.
The darkness (worry, sin, anxiety) can hold no power over you when you let it go and choose my light. Know that you can accept it as your human nature, but that you don’t have to fear it because my light is stronger – always. Choose joy even in the darkness. Choose freedom in the face of fear. Choose grace and forgiveness for yourself and others. And when you find that you can’t do it on your own (which you will), ask me to do it for you. It is finished, my love. The war is over, the battle is won.
Step 4: Rest
Do you struggle with this battle between the darkness and light within you? I think you do, and I think you will your entire life long. All the more reason to get to know Jesus more and more each and every day. He is the answer to every question, every struggle, every sorrow. Every word in scripture points to Him. We are given these words that we would know Him better. I think that’s the only way to respond to the victory of Easter. We can’t live a perfect life, but we don’t have to. Our call is simply to know Jesus. To worship Him. To read His word. To take it to heart. To rest in His love and mercy. May His Holy Spirit help us do it!
Post originally published by Laura Fleetwood on SeekingTheStill.com.
What happens when a carefully crafted life crumbles? Read Laura’s story.