[bl]T[/bl]he crucified Jesus calls us to a life of dying. Dying to anything that doesn’t lead us into righteousness. Anything that doesn’t glorify God. When we take up our cross and follow Jesus – I mean when we really follow Jesus – we will experience death. Death of expectations. Of social habits. Big girl dreams. Cultural practices. Selfish desires. Practical decisions. Responsible choices.
Death is certain, because we can’t follow Jesus where he’s going, while traveling the same path we’ve been walking.
I remember the pain of these first deaths. I remember fighting it, resenting it, looking back and longing for Egypt. The hardest death for me was expectations. Of what my family would be like. Of what my future holds. Of how I should be able to live. Of what my basic needs and resources ought to be. I hungered and thirst in this new place. And in my wandering, the pillar of cloud wasn’t always visible, or maybe my eyes weren’t willing to see it.
But then hard death hit. The death of a friend and leader. Someone too young and vibrant. Someone too close to us. And after the grief, after the tears, after the questions of how to move forward – we watched as God resurrected new life in team and ministry and family. And my eyes were opened to this resurrecting God. This God, who is all about life, not death.
The veil was lifted. And I saw resurrection in my own life. Instead of feeling the pain of death, I began to see the new life growing. And in this new life there are colored children, streets of orange, and a house sometimes without power and water. There is black and white. There is quiet. There are fewer boundaries and extra chairs around my table. There are children sleeping on the floors and guests in their beds. There are hard good byes and sweet welcomes.
In my death of expectations, God resurrected hope. Hope that his ways are higher than my ways. His thoughts higher than mine.
The resurrected Jesus is reason to rejoice! The empty grave births new life for all people. For we know that after death God always resurrects.
That even death in the living births new life.
When we say no to things of the world, when we deny selfish desires and receive dying as a way of living, God will resurrect in and round us new life. A life worth living. A life that produces fruit. A life that gives life to others.
The resurrected life begins now. It is the beginning of truly living. And it’s happening everywhere.
Consider today how God has resurrected new life in you. To him be the glory!
#125 Stained Eggs, a stained me
#126 A yummy cheeseburger
#127 Rosemary that makes scones delicious
#128 A stone in the ground with words foretelling
#129 Little girls who can’t wait to wear flip-flops
#130 A process that keeps me praying
#131 Children with energy
#132 A Mother who welcomes and feeds
#133 Signs of Spring
#134 Songs of worship
#135 The hunt outside
#136 Friends who are coming home