Unexpected Easter Blessings

Heather GillisFaith, Holiday, Redemption, Trials4 Comments

Have you ever received a blessing from God that was beyond measure than anything you have ever received?

Easter in itself is a blessing that I cherish as a day where God gave his only son for us. But there are two Easter blessings that will forever be engraved in my heart.

Last Easter, it was our second year living in Alaska. Last Easter was also my husband and I wedding anniversary. The day started out like any other day for me. I got up early intending to go to the sunrise Easter service then come back and all go together as a family. This morning however everyone got up early and somehow someway we all got dressed and made it to the sunrise service at the chapel on base on time. On this particular day it also had been snowing. I had experienced white Christmases before but never a white Easter.

Have you ever had one of those amazing moments orchestrated by God?

Well this day was one of those moments. As the choir started to sing, they started singing a song about how much Jesus loves us and washes our sins white as snow. It was snowing outside on Easter Sunday, my whole family was with me, it was our wedding anniversary, the choir was singing about our forgiveness in Jesus—it was one of the most beautifully orchestrated moments in my life. Because I knew that this orchestrated moment was never going to happen that way ever again.

Then it happened. I started bawling like a baby. Once I started crying I couldn’t stop. I was so overwhelmed with emotion and the beautiful gift God had given me that day it was all I could do but not cry. My husband looked over at me and said “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” I said “yes.” He said, “then why are you crying?” I said, “because everything is just so beautiful!”

It was the one of the best Easter blessings God ever gave me besides sending Jesus.

Have you ever gone through a tragedy, then God turned it into your biggest blessing?

Easter 2011 was the worst and best Easter we had ever experienced. If you can only imagine, in April 2011 my husband and I endured the loss of our son from a fatal genetic kidney disease. Even though our son fought a good fight for almost 2 weeks, God had other plans for him to be with him in heaven. Our son died in our arms on Holy Thursday. It was the most surreal experience to go through knowing Jesus sacrificed his life for us on the cross on Good Friday while mourning the loss of our son. It was like our son and Jesus were going through the death, the burial and resurrection at the same time.

“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Luke 24:6-7

Three days later after his death if you can even believe it, we got up and went to church Easter Sunday together as a family. Needless to say the emotions of our son’s loss and honoring what Jesus had done for us were intense. As I was sitting in church that day, I have heard the Easter story hundreds of times before but never had I looked at the death of Jesus from the perspective of God’s eyes. As I was sitting in my seat mad at God, I asked him ‘why did you take our son?’ After asking this question, I realized if there was anyone who knew the pain I was going through it was God. God also mourned the loss of his son as well.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

I now had a glimpse of the pain God went through when he sacrificed his own son for us. This pain brought me to my knees and viewed God in a whole new light. This pain gave me a new perspective of what God really did for us and how much he loves us.

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

Even though the pain of losing our son was unbearable, that Easter Sunday turned into one of the most amazing blessings God could have ever given to us. I don’t think the timing of our son’s death was a coincidence. Celebrating Easter the same weekend our son died, encapsulated everything God had already gone ahead of us and done. Easter has a whole new meaning for me. Not only is it a celebration of what God did for us but also the celebration of the life our son is living in heaven. What an amazing gift from God to let us know our son is safe in the arms of Jesus.

“From his abundance we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16 NLT

Heaven also took on a whole new meaning. Heaven isn’t just a far away place we get to visit one day, it is real right now. Heaven is where our son is living and where we will see him again one day. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord in our lives, heaven is a place that is right here right now. Where God’s love resides there are places of heaven here on earth.

Sometimes God’s blessings are found in the most unexpected places.

What Easter Blessings have you received?

Have you experienced an unexpected Easter Blessing? Please Share!

Did you like this post? Please share with others!  I would love to hear from you!  Please leave your comments below.  May you have a blessed Easter filled with God’s blessings!

In Him,

Heather

This post was first published on www.heathergillis.com/blog.


About Heather Gillis

Heather received her master's degree in Nurse Anesthesia at Villanova University. She works full time as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at a surgery center in Alaska. She is author of "Waiting for Heaven: Finding Beauty in the Pain and the Struggle," and a contributor for "Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Less." She also writes weekly Christian devotionals on her blog www.heathergillis.com. Heather and her husband Mac, reside in Alaska with their two living children. When she is not working, writing, or taking care of the house, you can find Heather running the trails, reading, taking the kids to gymnastics and choir, crafting with her daughter, building legos with their son, camping with her family, spending time with friends or volunteering wherever God takes her! To read her blog, learn more about Heather and her ministry visit www.heathergillis.com.

4 Comments on “Unexpected Easter Blessings”

  1. Heather, thank you for so graciously sharing your family’s story. I’m so sorry you lost your son. And I am so thankful Jesus has met you in your dark days. I know he will continue to do so.

Leave a Reply