This past Sunday I was a little disappointed when we awoke with two sick kids and a sick mommy, meaning church would not be in our agenda for the day. I was sad because Palm Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays to attend church.
I can remember many Sundays growing up when I'd arrive at church and was handed a beautiful palm branch to carry with me throughout the morning. Every year I would savor that branch. I can remember years when there was no branches handed out, and I would feel a little bummed. Then, as I got older, I realized the day meant that the next week I would come to church in a brand new dress and shoes. Lots of years that new dress would have been made by my Grandma, and it was certain to have the perfect twirling element that every little girl loves when it comes to twirly dresses. Ah, sweet memories.
And then, as my relationship with the Lord developed, I realized the significance of the day. I wonder how Jesus went through that day when he knew all too well the pain and betrayal that would come from those same mouths. Time and time again God knew the heart of man, he knew full well what is to come and yet responds and extends a full fist of love, grace and mercy. That is the God of then, and that is the God of today. I find such peace in that aspect of him.
He knows the full heart of man. I can say this, because as I awoke saddened that we wouldn't be a church on Palm Sunday - there were also lots of other things going on in my heart. All week long I had a desire to have a fresh bouquet of flowers. I love how a bouquet brightens my kitchen. I can go for a long time not even thinking about a bouquet. But then, something inside me stirs and I want a bouquet. When this happens, I'll ask Hubs to stop and get me one. Or sometimes I will just pick one up while I am at the store. One or two times I've done both!
However, this past week, my longing for a bouquet was never voiced as every trip to the grocery store was the type where there was no space to even think about stopping at the floral department. Both my husband's week and my week was filled with taking care of business or sick kids, or...you get the idea.
Back to Palm Sunday morning. My sweet Hubby went out to run some errands while the kids napped and I clipped the Sunday coupons. He returned with a beautiful bouquet! And, not only that, in the bouquet there was a palm branch and two peace lilies! He did not know of my sadness of not going to church, nor did he know that I had wanted a bouquet of flowers all week long. I have to believe that a higher power had something to do with that.
The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the King of Israel!" Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,
"Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey's colt."
Yes, the Lord knows the heart of man. He knows the pain and darkness and he knows the rich, deep needs and the seemingly simple desires. And I believe that He has come, He delivers and satisfies.
On this Easter weekend, take time to savor and rest in the blessed gift our Lord has extended to us. Our deliverer has come and has defeated the grave. Hosanna!