It’s Easter and seeing all the Easter Lilies for sale in our local stores I am so tempted to buy myself a pot. But then I think of the other non-Florida plants I buy (tulips and hydrangeas) and their quick demise and I remember that some flowers are just not meant for Florida. But, I still love those Easter Lilies. They have such a regal look, as if they are their own loudspeakers proclaiming the glory of Easter.
How appropriate that I should read in this morning’s devotions that we are to “Consider the Lilies…”
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the Lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field….shall he not much more clothe you…? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
You know, I used to worry about clothes, especially at Easter time. It was at age 16 when our family was in the US that I realized Americans had this awful (awful to a 16-year-old who couldn’t compete materially) tradition – buying all new clothes for Easter Sunday. Then, many years later, when I had my own children, I disliked the tradition even more – not only did I have to have a new looking outfit for myself, I needed one for my whole family! My husband and I were barely out of graduate school and Easter finery simply wasn’t on our list of necessities.
Somewhere along the way I came to my senses and decided that Easter shouldn’t be about worrying about an outfit or lack thereof – whether there was money for one or not. To be honest, I had gone from disliking the tradition, to self-righteous indignation at the amount of money and time wasted on it (if half the money spent on Easter clothing was sent to mission work etc. etc.), to a complete change of attitude. Both worry and a self-righteous attitude were wrong, and neither mindset could invite God’s blessing. Besides, there were those beautiful verses, admonishing me to “Consider the lilies…”
I finally realized that Easter wasn’t about how I should or should not spend our money, but about having the right perspective: had I invited a friend to our glorious Sunday Easter celebration, had I shared the beauty of the Easter Story with someone new, and had I given God and His Son’s resurrection first place in my heart and mind? Matthew 6:33, only five verses after the ‘lilies’ verse, promises if we seek first the kingdom of God, all “these things” will be added to us.
The irony of it all, when I switched from despising the new-clothes Easter tradition to simply focusing on what Easter is about, my girls were suddenly deluged with hand-me-downs. They have so many Easter Sunday dresses, I’ve given many away – there are simply not enough Sundays to wear them all! Today on the day before Easter, instead of having to shop and stress, we can go to their overflowing closets and choose from the generosity of so many friends.
So, this morning as I read these beautiful verses, the timing amazed me. For the first time I realized that the girls’ closets full of dresses were God’s way of showing me that adjusting my heart attitude led to a wonderful blessing. My Heavenly Father truly knew what we needed (vs.32)!
May you have a wonderful day tomorrow dressing your family up, taking pictures, and making memories. But above all else, place the God of the resurrection in first place and “Consider the lilies…”