By Karen Winkelman

My spirit senses the lightness of spring coming and rejoices.

The sun came out last week after weeks of cold, cloudy weather and the daffodils have poked their way through the crunchy, brown grass.  Buds are developing on what looked like dead branches days ago.  It seems like everyone around me has perked up and is carrying a lighter load.  Coats are left behind and strangers smile.  People everywhere I go seem…happy!  Even the dog delights in having more squirrels and birds to play with.

My daughter in college commented on a similar phenomenon on her campus.  Frisbees and volleyballs, guitars and drums are evident in the open areas.  Umbrellas and boots wait in dorms for rainy days to come.  I can almost remember those carefree days, too.

It seems everyone around me is embracing the lightness of spring, the purging of winter’s “weight” and the exchange of our dark browns and blacks for pastels and bright colors.  Hmmm…  Sounds a lot like Easter, doesn’t it?  Jesus took on the weight of our sin and cancelled our debt (Col. 3:14).  There is a lightness in our souls when as believers we celebrate the work of the cross, ending in the victory of our Savior’s resurrection.

And yet these very same souls can be so full of burdens we add back in.  We forget that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:30)!  Specifically with mentoring, I’ve noticed that many mentees who write in carry such a heavy load.  The challenge for me is to figure out where they are in relation to the cross.  Have they come face to face with our Redeemer?  Or do they know Him as Savior, but not as their Refuge and Strength?  Have they learned how to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, our Helper and Comforter?  He alone can lighten their load!

The help and hope we share with others is found shining in our risen Savior.  He lives! And he lives not just among us but within me! My prayer is that my mentees will exchange their burdensome load for the spring-like lightness of a soul resting in Christ alone.

He is Risen indeed!