Archive for April, 2010

Turning the fresh earth in our vegetable garden, I met a new  teacher today. On my knees with a small hand spade, digging up weeds that were trying to get a head start in the garden, I began to notice a pattern. Dig around some plants and the roots, those shallow and broad-spread came willingly and allowed themselves to be tossed to the side with little effort.  But others were determined to hold on to life and would fight hard to not let go. In time, pulling those pernicious plants out of the ground, I would find one last tiny root dangling with one hard lump of clay surrounding it’s white sliver. Left alone even in that abnormal state, that plant would survive for days. For inside that hard clay is the moisture the plant could survive on if necessary until the rains came again.

The next time I find myself wondering why God allows me to live through some tough times and endure some hard days, I’m going to remember that root that had dug into the hard soil knowing that the hardness is exactly what would allow it to survive hard times. Plants growing in hard soil must grow some deep roots to survive. And so too with my own soul.  Loose soil will quickly fall away when shaken; but the hard soil, once embedded with roots of persistence, can sustain life through some difficult times. These days, I find even the soil has something to teach me about life. May it keep me humble to know how simple a teacher I only require.


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It was barely past six this morning when I walked down our quarter-mile driveway toward our barn closer to the road. I had some hens out on pasture to feed in this early light. Stopping in front of the large sliding door that opened the barn, I looked back south out over our orchards as the sun, just barely over the horizon, was climbing down the tree tops toward the lightly frosted grasses. The grapes and apples, pears and peaches all seemed to be stretching to find the sunlight. The morning air was crisp like newly washed sheets hung out to dry in the sun. And my thoughts turned toward resurrection. Just last Sunday we gathered with friends and strangers to celebrate the pinnacle of the Christian faith, the miracle of Jesus, the hope of our faith, the only reason why our faith is not in vain.

But this morning was different. All week long, memorizing John 11:23-25 about the resurrection, I am struck this day with a new reality. Jesus said to Martha as they stood beyond Lazarus’ grave, “I AM the resurrection.” He didn’t say He had resurrection power, or that He could call it down from heaven. He said He WAS the resurrection. Looking at those budding fruit trees, and the greening of all the surrounding hills as life was returning to the woods and valleys, I saw a resurrection right before my eyes. A resurrection that occurs about this time every year, possible only because of it’s Creator … the Resurrection. And just as all creation goes into an annual death only to return with the warming air and lengthening days, so to do some things in my life necessarily die, trusting that my Creator, my Resurrection, will renew life into those things that I must let go of if they are ever to live again. Hopes, plans, aspirations must all be held lightly enough to grasp, but strong enough to bury when the time comes. But because I have a faith in the Resurrection, the One who brings life into what dies, I can let things go in my life and live the days that follow by faith. But not a faith that is an assurance that I will in some way receive what I desire, but rather a faith that He will bring all things Good back into my life. So it is not my need to make some things happen; it is my need to trust.

Resurrection goes far beyond the grave. It is something to be lived out regularly in our lives.

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