My mother-in-law, Ella, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s six years ago when she was just 54. Now she’s in the late stages and well beyond caring for herself in the most basic sense. For example, she can’t hold a cup of water and bring it to her mouth to drink. Someone has to take hold of her hands and lift the glass to her lips. And more and more she fails to recognize any of her loved ones, including her husband. Sometimes she doesn’t even know who she is.
I thought mainly of Ella and her condition this Easter. And I thanked God for its transience. Because of the resurrection, I know she’ll be perfect and whole again soon. You see, Ella is a believer. And more than the precious memories of her as wife and mother, we’ll treasure the hope we have of her restoration in Christ.
We read The Jesus Storybook Bible as a family and I am often struck by the sweet simplicity of truth the author pulls out of scripture. In the chapter describing the resurrection, Sally Lloyd-Jones describes Mary’s thoughts as she runs back to the city after just seeing the resurrected Christ:
Mary ran and ran, all the way to the city. She had never run so fast or so far in all her life. She felt she could have run forever. She didn’t even feel like her feet touched the ground. The sun seemed to be dancing and gleaming and bounding across the sky, racing with her and shining brighter than she could ever remember in the clear, fresh air.
And it seemed to her that morning, as she ran, almost as if the whole world had been made anew, almost as if the whole world was singing for joy — the trees, the tiny sounds in the grass, the birds … her heart.
Was God really making everything sad come untrue? Was he making even death come untrue? She couldn’t wait to tell Jesus’ friends. “They won’t believe it!” she laughed.
In the brokenness of life, the hope found in the resurrection of Christ becomes most vivid and most dear. And who among us will be untouched by the sorrows life can bring. When they come, look to the resurrection. Know that whatever it is, it is most assuredly temporal. And for believers, paradise awaits.