Where’s My Candy?

About 20 years ago my husband and I decided to add a new tradition to our family Easter celebration. We began adding prizes to the Easter egg hunt. In the weeks before Easter, we search the dollar stores for inexpensive prizes: bubbles, jump ropes, kites, and the like for the kids. Flashlights, flower seeds, coffee mugs and an occasional gift card make their way into the adult stash. To keep things as fair as possible, numbers are written on each plastic egg corresponding to numbers on prizes. We write the numbers in permanent marker. No one knows what prizes they will receive until the end of the hunt.

Last year the festivities were canceled since I was recovering from surgery, and this year things were delayed a month due to the Covid19 pandemic. Our sweet great-nephew, Brooks, who is just five years old, was too young to remember the last Easter we were together, so this year’s fun was all new to him. When the kids had found all their eggs and gathered together for the distribution of the prizes, we realized Brooks wasn’t there. His father found him sitting alone on the side of the house. Every plastic egg in his basket was open, and Brooks was crying. It would not be exaggeration to say he was crying bitterly. In fact, “wailing” is a more accurate account. When his father asked what was wrong, Brooks pointed to the opened eggs and between cries said, “There’s no candy in ANY of these!” His dad, a veteran participant of our egg hunt, calmly reassured him with, “Oh son, there’s so much more than candy!”

I’ve been where Brooks was-many times. I’ve sat alone and wept bitter tears of disappointment wondering when I would find candy, wondering why I’ve only come up empty-handed. It is likely that I will be in that lonely place again before my journey here is complete. My hope is that the next trip I take there, I too will hear my Father say, “Oh there is so much more!” I hope I will recall that His gifts are not only written in permanent marker, but are also much better than anything I have ever hoped for.

“Now to Him who is able to do infinitely morethan all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

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