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Rise

This time of year is so energizing to me.  The warm sunshine and longer daylight hours keep me looking for outside projects.  When the girls were little, we loved photo shoots by the blooming magnolia tree that was in our yard. The above picture is of my cuties in 2010.  Now, my absolute favorite fragrant viburnum shrubs have started budding and I’m really hopeful that the cold snap that’s predicted won’t keep them from blooming.  I love the scent that they cast right outside our front door.  It’s heavenly to me.  I hope that you also find yourself with a little spring in your step as we watch nature coming back to life around us.

It’s appropriate that we talk about the topic of resurrection as we witness the birth of spring and prepare for the Easter weekend.  It all fits together so perfectly doesn’t it? I know that I touched on this briefly in my post a few weeks ago about the seasons.  If you didn’t get a chance to read that one, you can check it out here.  Speaking from the place of a mother who has a child in heaven, I honestly can’t think of anything more comforting than the resurrection power that we’ve been promised through Jesus.  It’s all because of Easter.  Jesus did what I couldn’t do and He saved my child.  He has saved us too, if we’ve accepted His gift of salvation, we can live out our days knowing that even death won’t keep us in the grave.  I’m so thankful for His life giving power. 

The Holy Spirit has been impressing on me these past couple of weeks that His resurrection power isn’t only for the physically dead.  It’s for those of us who are still breathing, but feel dead inside too.  Grieving certainly has a way of making one feel like they have also died right along with their loved one.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wanting to crawl inside the grave with Sarah.  It hurt to breathe for a while.  Even knowing that Jesus could heal my broken heart didn’t change the fact that I really didn’t want to be healed.  Grief makes us comfortable with the darkness.  The light can just be too much.  So can crowds, or loud noises.   I found myself numb, not really feeling anything most of the time-sort of like a dead person walking. Recently, I really connected with C.S. Lewis thoughts in A Grief Observed:

And no one ever told me about the laziness of grief.  Except at my job-where the machine seems to run on as much as usual-I loathe the slightest effort.  Not only writing, but reading a letter is too much.  Even shaving.  What does it matter now whether my cheek is rough or smooth?  They say an unhappy man wants distractions-something to take him out of himself.  Only a dog-tired man wants an extra blanket on a cold night; he’d rather lie there shivering than get up and find one.  It’s easy to see why the lonely become untidy, finally, dirty and disgusting.

Can you relate to that?  Not really caring about your own well-being?  Deep grief leaves you feeling lonely, cold, and dead inside.  Sounds like the tomb to me.  At some point, one has to decide whether or not to live again or stay cold and shivering in the tomb. 

I’ve read about other grieving people “snapping” out of that stage of their grief when they consider what their deceased loved one would want for them.   While that’s certainly moving and I totally know that Sarah is cheering me on; the thing that has really empowered me the last few weeks has been the resurrection power of Jesus.  The more that I get to know Jesus the more I’m learning that He specializes in bringing dead things back to life-including me. 

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.  I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!  Philippians 3:10-11

When you’ve lost someone close to you, you’ve certainly participated in some suffering.  Now it’s time to experience the power of His resurrection.  I’m daily asking Him to breathe His life into me, energize me, and give me a purpose.  He’s faithful and willing to make beauty from these ashes.  So many times in scripture we see examples of Jesus taking the broken and making it beautiful.  I know that’s His desire for all of us who have been wounded by grief.  There’s nothing that He can’t revive. Friend, is He calling you to “Rise” too?

Happy Easter everyone!

RISE

In the quiet

Dead on the inside

Still within my grief

You whisper to my broken heart

Rise

Eyes now woke

Tears begin to dry

Inhale the fresh wind

Your breath is healing my lungs

Rise

Your words stir

Rattle my dry bones

As your blood flows

My soul comes alive

Rise

My heart beats

A new rhythm forms

My feet feel the tempo

A dance filled with praise

Rise

Your light shines

Step out of the grave

Made new in your presence

Death is rejected

Rise

Kim Taylor, 3/29/2021

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