Impossible. Can’t happen. It will never work.

It must have seemed hopeless on that first cold dark night after the crucifixion. It was over. Jesus was dead, wrapped in burial cloth and laid in a borrowed tomb carved out of a cleft in the rock. His followers were terrified, shaken to the core, scattered and hiding. A huge heavy stone was rolled in front of the tomb and guards placed there to keep watch so no one could take his body and fool anyone into believing he had risen as it was foretold.

And then, it happened!  It came to pass just as it had been promised. Jesus rose from the dead! He was alive! He was with them again and walked among the living. He appeared to his closest friends and many more in the days that followed and many more came to believe when they saw this. What had been promised came to be and it remains the ultimate miracle in the life of every believer!

Often times as we journey through Lent and Holy Week I am overcome with sadness, grief and guilt. I think about how Jesus endured such a cruel and horrifying death. For me. To save me from sin and allow me to have everlasting life with him when I leave this human body of mine. I know his sacrifice was his gift to all of humanity, yet I feel it in a deeply personal way. I feel humbled and overwhelmed by his sacrifice, his love, his generosity. Have you ever felt this pain in your soul?

But it doesn’t end there, Hallelujah! It would be all wrong for the story to end with this heaviness of sin and sorrow on my heart. It certainly would not be what Jesus wanted for us. What we should feel is joy, lightness, gratitude and love. We should feel a deep belief in our value and our worthiness. This proves that we are loved so wholeheartedly that Jesus would lay down his very life to give us the assurance of eternity with him. 

Easter is the most important celebration in the church year and for good reason! We are loved, we belong, we are saved!  There is a magical quality in feeling loved unconditionally. When we feel this cherished, it fills us with the desire to do everything we can to share that love with everyone around us. We want to hold on to feeling of joy and live in a way that keeps the spirit alive in us. This is what I believe to be the true miracle of Easter, our rebirth and re-dedication to living a deeper, more spiritual life..

Can’t happen? Think again! God’s unstoppable life force makes flowers burst through ice and snow with intensely colorful beauty, and we can bloom too! Impossible? No! The very word says I’m possible! We are loved! We are saved! Hallelujah!

Betty Streff

Betty Streff began her career as a customer service representative for a large corporation in Omaha. Four years later she found herself to be a farm wife in a small rural community with limited opportunities for women. After a humbling self assessment, she listed her assets as talents for sketching, sewing, and the natural ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers. Using these and her optimistic nature, she began stitching up some bibs and pillows for a craft show, who wouldn't? Over the next 25 years she became a serial entrepreneur obsessed with studying faith, spirituality, leadership, motivation, and management as she developed her businesses. Betty has spent the last few years working in corporate America in the hospitality and manufacturing world and she continues to immerse herself in the study of what makes people tick. The explosive growth in the relatively recent science of positive psychology fascinates her. Betty devours everything she can find on the subject and is especially intrigued with people who thrive no matter the circumstances and in discovering ways that happiness and optimism can be learned. She is currently exploring ways of sharing and cultivating the exciting possibilities with both individuals and businesses. She and her husband Steve have been married 45 years and are blessed with 2 incredible daughters, 2 fantastic sons-in-law and 6 amazing grandchildren.