With the winter season nearly behind us now, it’s nice to have spring finally arriving again.

Tom Heck, his wife, Joanne, and their two children own and operate a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Ord...

It takes a lot more work to take care of cattle over the long winter months. We always look forward to putting the cattle out to pasture in the spring, and they really look forward to it too. They love to run around and kick up their hooves after a long winter indoors. And, there’s all that lush, green grass to eat.

What a joy it is going out the door in the morning to the barn and hearing the red-winged blackbirds and robins singing beautifully in our large burr oak tree by the milkhouse. Many years ago, I wondered why they would sing so. Over the years, I’ve come to realize they’re singing their praises to their creator. If they do so, how much more should we?

In the spring also, it’s such a joy to see our large, feathered friends honking at us as they fly over our barn heading straight north to Canada. We don’t especially like to see the geese go south in the fall because we know it means winter is on the way, but it is such a joy to see them going north in the spring because it means there is another growing season coming. It tells us that new life is coming once again.

With spring comes so much new life; it’s wonderful. The grass greens up, the trees get buds and the hayfields green up. And not to forget the spring flowers that start to bloom; flowers the kids and I can pick for Joanne to bless her.


But with spring comes something else of incredible importance – Easter. We remember back many years ago, when a man on the other side of the world died for us so we could be redeemed to God. Not only did He die, but He did something no other man ever did. He rose from the dead and He lives forevermore. Because of that, I live today and have an abundant life.

We always celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, for without Him, life would be empty and meaningless.

One of the ways we celebrated it years ago, when the kids were small, was by hiding Easter baskets with candy in them. No, we didn’t do it the way most people do it. We would make a trail of about 20 clues they would have to follow to find their baskets. We would always start in the house with the first clue written down on a piece of paper, and they would have to figure out exactly what it meant, then go and find the next clue that eventually led them to their Easter baskets. We would oftentimes have clues placed around the farm buildings to make it much more challenging.

As the kids got older, they wanted harder and harder trails to their Easter baskets, which we gladly did. Sometimes, if they would get stumped on a clue, we would let them ask us for help and we would give them extra information to help them find it. The last clue would always inform them that the next place would have their Easter basket. Where would that be, you ask? It could be in a chopper box, a tractor’s toolbox, the hay baler, a feed cart, a tree stump or in the house some place. We got really creative, and it was a lot of fun.

But, it just wasn’t for the kids; the kids and I would always hide one for Joanne, and Joanne and the kids would always hide one for me. We all liked the fun challenging trails and good candy afterwards.

One trail we made for Joanne nobody will ever forget. She started to follow the trail perfectly. It took her outside around the buildings and then back into the house. The last clue told her that her basket was in our living room. She looked high and low in that room and couldn’t find it. She finally asked for help, so we told her, “It’s in the corner of the room where the rocking chair is.” Our rocking chair has a cloth skirt that goes down around it. It sits really close to the floor. There was just barely enough room to squeeze her Easter basket under it.

Joanne had looked in that corner of the room, never looking under the chair. She sat down in the chair and started to rock, asking us for more clues. We kept telling her it was right in that corner. After looking so long and not finding it, she was ready to start crying because she thought we weren’t being honest and fair with her. The kids were almost laughing because she was sitting right on it. Finally, we had to tell her, “You’re sitting on it!” When we told her that, a look of total bewilderment went across her face. She got up and pulled the skirt away from the rocker and found her basket. Then a big joyous smile came across her face. After a minute of laughter and talking, we asked her, “Why didn’t you look under there sooner?” Her reply, “I just knew there wasn’t enough room under there for an Easter basket.”

Joanne found out what she thought she knew was wrong. It did not seem possible that it could be there, so she never looked there. Today, we all remember it and smile and laugh about it, even Joanne.

Many people today think they know all about God, but they’re wrong. They believe Jesus died and rose again, and they hope they will make heaven their home. But they have never really repented of their sinful ways and asked Jesus to be Lord of their lives. Down inside they know they’re coming up short with God.

Easter is about dying and new life. If you will die to self and follow the risen Savior, you will have the most wonderful life possible. I know because I have done it.