This morning I sat down to eat breakfast, and the TV was on. One of the first things I saw was a noisy advert for an Easter Sale. It interrupted my calm morning, and reminded me that even over Easter nothing shuts down.
We can't bear to go without anything for even a few days. It made me wonder, What would we do if the whole country shut down for the whole five days? (ANZAC day is the extra day for non-Australian readers.) It made think that we would probably rely a lot more on each other - run out of something, maybe we would have to go talk to a neighbour, or pool our resources with a group of friends. We would probably focus more on people, on our family and friends, rather than running off to a "Once In A Lifetime SALE" that happens every other month anyway.
If we stripped away everything we normally rely on to keep us safe, and fed and entertained, what would we turn to?
I know the answer is God.
In the Western world I think it is harder for us to really get the concept of fully relying on God. Because we don't need to. We are prosperous and secure and so take it for granted that is actually God that gives us all that. What will it take to remind us that God is everything - that at the end of the day he is all we have, and all we need?
I think we may have seen a bit of what it takes. Far from just a short shut down on a public holiday, all over the world people are experiencing events that strip them of their usual lives, their possessions, the things they normally rely on. In floods and earth quakes and tsunamis, all our control is taken away.
I don't think God is causing these things to happen, as some sort of punishment. But it's an idea that we struggle with - Why does God let bad things happen?
I don't have the answer to that, but I do know that God works all things together for good. If out of this even a few people rediscover the God that supplies all their needs, then there is good. What is it that really matters? Our earthly temporary lives and comfort, or our eternal lives with God?
We don't need to "mourn like those who have no hope". (1 Thessalonians 4:13) We have eternity - anything else means very little in comparison. And truthfully, a lot of us will find this Easter that our greatest hardship is worrying that we will run out of milk and the shops won't be open.
Don't wait for a natural disaster to strip you of everything, to realise the EVERYTHING that you really need.
"If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it." Matthew 16:25