Today there was a knock on the door. I answered with my hair twisted into braids and tied together behind my head, flushed, wearing a worn t-shirt and ripped jeans. I was in the middle of cleaning, and I need a haircut….badly. Apparently the neighbor had found a letter addressed to me just sitting in her yard, getting wet from the dew for a day or more. I hadn’t known the letter was coming, but it was a joy to receive. The reason was that it contained a very rare and precious commodity, seldom heard of these days. No, I’m not talking about gold or anything else that can be mined. It wasn’t plane tickets or the winning lotto numbers, for that matter. It was simply a letter from a friend which contained timely and bountiful encouragement.
It’s so hard some days to just put one foot in front of the other and hold on to the hope that things will get better. For many people, they have lost the desire to go on another day. They want something better, but they resign themselves to the fact that life is hard, and that’s on a good day. The power of encouragement is the power of light over darkness. Even the most downtrodden can see a light at the end of the tunnel. You may not really believe it at first, but honest encouragement has the power to change people’s lives. Encouragement is like a deep breath after being submerged under water for a little too long; it keeps you going.
What does this have to do with Easter, you may wonder? A lot of people would see the silhouette of the cross and see a nice Sunday school story or an emblem for a necklace or proof of the brutality of the Roman empire. How many people would see the cross as an encouragement? Yet, never before or since was such profound encouragement given to anyone anywhere. The cross is a symbol of more than just a second chance. This is the second chance of all second chances. This is an offer of not just a new car or a new job or a new spouse. This is a chance at the Jackrabbit Jackpot (for 10th Kingdom fans). This is the big one, A NEW LIFE!!
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.