The church door was open at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Carmichael, California, with people going in and out, when a young man walked up awkwardly to entrance and handed a piece of paper with a number on it to the person there, “Excuse me,” he said somewhat hesitantly, “I’m here to pick up an Easter basket for my daughter. Am I at the right place?” “Oh, I’m so sorry,” said the person, “but these are not Easter baskets for kids; they’re food baskets for families so that they may have a happier Easter.”

The person who wrote this story was an associate minister who was helping to distribute the baskets to needy families. So to make sure everyone was taken care of they handed out numbers to the recipients that matched the basket they were supposed to receive. Each one contained a full Easter dinner – a whole ham, potatoes, bread, vegetables, and a pie – plus enough staples to help feed a family for a week.

So he asked the young man, “Why don’t you step inside and let me see what I can do?” He looked somewhat disappointed. He shook his head “no,” as he peered over his shoulder. “I can’t…my daughter is waiting for me in the car,” he said. He gave her a little wave and turned back toward the associate minister. “I’m grateful for the food, but when I heard you were giving away baskets for Easter…well, I thought they would be Easter baskets for children,” he continued. “I promised my daughter one.” He glanced over his shoulder again. “I left her in the car because I wanted to surprise her.”

The minister felt the young single father’s disappointment but there was nothing he could do. Volunteers put the food baskets together, not Easter ones. So the young man turned to leave. But the minister asked him to wait just a moment, and I walked inside where the baskets were waiting for pick up. He started looking around for the basket with the number on it that matched the one the young father handed him.

Before he could start looking at the numbers, a bulge in one of the baskets caught his eye. What is that? he wondered. Leaning in and looking more closely, he could see, unmistakably, an Easter basket – filled with an assortment of candy and Easter eggs – wrapped with ribbons and tucked inside with the food. One of the volunteers must have added this by mistake! he thought. Then I looked at the man’s number in my hand. Well, I’ll be! The minister said to himself.

As he walked back to the door, he handed the young Happy Easter,” he said to the man, handing him the only bigger food basket with a smaller Easter basket inside – the very basket with his number on it. He smiled and said to the young father, “Someone knew just what you needed.” Yes, someone sure did.

That’s the way life is sometimes. We go to God for something we need and God tells us He didn’t prepare the thing we are asking for. But because we have faith in the One who never fails, sure enough, he not only gives us what we need but also the very thing we were asking for. Why? Does He want to spoil us! No! When we get something from God we were hoping for but that God said it’s not really what He wanted to give us, it’s because He’s trying to teach us a lesson. His Son Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and all these other things will be given to us.

That’s why Jesus’ coming out of the grave alive was a surprise to all His followers and disciples. They had been wanting a Prince Warrior who would free them from Roman rule and make Israel a free place again. What they got was a wonderful miracle-worker with great compassion for the needy. But when they saw Him alive, they knew that now had a Risen Savior to rescue those who were lost in their sins. But he was that Prince Warrior who conquered sin, satan, death, and the grave.

So on this Easter Sunday, we should not only sing praises to Jesus as our Risen Lord and Savior but also as our Prince of Peace and Royal King or overcoming death and the grave and pay honor to Him for His passion and courage! – Dr. Robert R Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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