I’m trying to stay away from sugar so, this Easter, I’m saying a big “UMMM… NO” to my favorite Easter treat, yummy milk chocolate with the rich, gooey center Cadbury Cream Eggs. I’m drooling just thinking about them. But I’m giving a hearty “YES” to this Traditional Irish Lamb recipe for Easter Sunday.
On Easter of 1992 our oldest daughter said a definitive “UMMM…NO” to sitting on the Easter Bunny’s lap. Haha! And yes, I still took the picture. As mom’s do… I’m so grateful that I did because this is one of my all time favorite pictures of our kids. It seems to resurface every year at this time.
Sometimes, to live a healthy and meaningful life, we must say ‘no’ to some okay things in order to say ‘yes’ to better things. We can say yes to something that is not The Best Yes and get immediate gratification or we can say no to that thing in order to say yes to something that will give us eternal gratification. Maybe it’s that one more show on Netflix even though you know it’s too late and you’ll be tired tomorrow. Or one more drink – it’ll be fine! Perhaps it’s the ‘yes’ that you might say to do something fun when you know there’s something necessary that is a higher priority. For people pleasers like me, this is especially treacherous territory.
Wrong choices bring immediate gratification.
Right choices bring eternal gratification.
So while I’m saying no to sugar-filled Cadbury Eggs and yes to a delicious and healthy lamb roast, here are a four more sobering things that we should say “ummm… no” to this Easter and the right “yes” to replace it with.
Ummm… no to complacency.
“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.” Matthew 26:40
The garden scene in the first Easter story is one that resonates with me. I’m almost not proud to admit that. The disciples were found sleeping. Sleeping! Sleeping at a time when Jesus needed them the most. I cringe at the thought that I would be found sleeping when my God needed me. “Couldn’t you just keep watch for one hour?”
Replace the ‘no’ to complacency with a ‘yes’ to staying alert and being available for what God has planned for you.
Ummm…no to fear.
Jesus said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
The scriptures don’t spell out that Jesus was fearful but I think we can deduce that He might have been. He was God, yes, but He was also human. He felt and dealt with everything we do. Being God, He already knew what was coming. The kiss of betrayal, the mocking, the beatings, the unprecedented crown of thorns, the criminal’s cross. Being human, He knew the reality of the pain He would physically endure. Being God, He knew it would be worth it. He knew we would be worth it.
We don’t know exactly what’s ahead for us like Jesus did but we know we aren’t promised easy. Fear of the unknown is a beast that steals our joy. We need to lean into His perfect love, you know, the love that casts out fear (1 John 4:8). Trust that His ways are higher. His truth is truer. His will is better.
Replace the ‘no’ to fear with a ‘yes’ to “Thy will be done, Lord.”
Ummm… no to doubt.
“So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he (Thomas) said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
“A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:25-28
I am such a doubting Thomas! Faith is such a tricky concept. We want hard evidence. We need to see it and touch it with our own eyes before we can believe it. God doesn’t always allow that. Like the chair that we sit in and trust to hold us up, we have to believe in what Jesus did – sight unseen. And all the more blessed we are for believing the unseen when folks like Thomas had to see it first hand to believe it.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20: 29
Replace the ‘no” to doubt with a ‘yes’ to “I believe.”
Ummm… no to death.
“But the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Luke 16:6
We all know that death will come. It’s part of life. We’ve recently experienced the reality of death first hand in our family. But death is not really death. I believe that after we finish our life here on earth we will either live in Heaven or in Hell. I don’t believe there is an in between. At almost 50 years old, goodness knows my earthly body is wearing down more and more each day. I am so thankful for the hope of life after death that I have because, on that first Easter’s Cross, death was defeated.
Replace the ‘no’ to death with a ‘yes’ to life – eternal life!
I will choose to say ‘yes’ to the eternal fulfillment of the perfect Easter Lamb over the momentary pleasure of the Cadbury Cream Egg? What are some “ummm… no’s” that you might need to replace with a ‘yes’?