The first tree budded in our yard yesterday, and my daughter was ecstatic.
“Mom!” she cried. “Look how beautiful!”
I was struck by the way her joy spilled over into my own heart. I stood for a moment in awe of new life. Fresh beginnings. The promise of spring made visible. As we were getting ready for Easter, a season of renewal, it was the unbridled excitement my daughter displayed that let me experience joy in a new and unexpected way.
And suddenly, I was reminded of the empty tomb and the childlike wonder of those who witnessed it—who stood at the entrance of the place where just hours before, the turning point in history had happened: human feet on holy ground. Hearts filled with the utter delight of God’s love made visible in a way that it had never been before.
That’s what I want on Easter Sunday. Even more than egg hunts and chocolates and new dresses (which are all delightful!) I want to be filled with His joy in a new way, and let it spill out everywhere.
And I believe the children in our lives have a lot to teach us about joy.
Jesus knew it, too:
He called a little child to him and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:2-3 NIV
Children ask questions. They haven’t yet convinced themselves that they’re self-sufficient beings who should know almost everything. If we’ve been following Christ for a while, we’re likely very familiar with the facts about Easter morning. We feel safe knowing the answers and sometimes we let that be enough. But what if we ask God for more this year? Ask Him to nudge us out of our comfort zones into new experiences of His resurrection life? Sure, we can celebrate those cherished traditions, but let’s show up with anticipation too—trusting Him to do a new thing.
Leave room for wonder:
One of the surest routes to authentic praise is to sink our roots deep in the wonder of life, as our children do naturally. Genuine gratitude springs from being present in the moment, aware of even the simplest joys. This Easter season, consider revisiting (or beginning) that gratitude journal. The more blessings you discover, the more you will be filled with praise for the One who provided them. As you reflect on the empty tomb, your heart will be worshipful!
Share the joy:
“Did you see that?” “Watch this!” “Look close, Mama!” Our little ones often express their feelings without filters. They want to draw us into their experience so that we can share their excitement. But we grown-ups sometimes forget how wonderful shared joy can be. We assume others wouldn’t understand or won’t be interested in our experience. However, it is very likely there are people in our lives right now who desperately need a renewed sense of hope. As you celebrate the resurrection this year, allow that joy to spill over. Whatever it looks like for you, share the joy you’ve found in Christ with those around you—not because you have to, but because you just can’t help yourself!
So let us come to Him this Easter as His children, with open hearts and willing hands, to love and serve in whatever way He leads us. As we envision the empty tomb and celebrate that eternal freedom we have been given, let’s not keep this joy to ourselves. Let’s be a part of bringing His Kingdom here, today—transforming this world with His healing love, one precious heart at a time.