Wednesday, March 07, 2007

New Life

A very recent loss in my life left me asking a lot of questions and seeking some guidance. At the same time, I'd been thinking ahead to Easter and the material I want to include in the April issue of my church's monthly newsletter, which got me reflecting on resurrection...

The idea of "new life" is probably a common theme for churches around this time of year, especially as spring is around the corner (though you wouldn't know it for the frigid temperatures in Montreal today!) Buds on trees, tiny blooms, butterflies emerging from cocoons... these are metaphors we've heard again and again in sermons about salvation and resurrection. For Christians, physical death is not frightening because we have the hope of eternal life in heaven. And for a new believer, "dying to self" is a sacrifice eagerly made because of the promise of salvation and a new life in Christ.

As powerful as these truths are, we can easily take them for granted as clich├ęs. For me, however, they have a new significance, at least at this stage in my life. I can either mourn the closing of one chapter of my story and shroud my heart in black, or I can anticipate the beginning of the next chapter and rejoice in knowing that God will "make all things new."

If I can believe that Jesus raised Himself from the dead, and if I have experienced new life as a born-again Christian, then how can I doubt that God will take any pain or loss or burden that I bring to Him and turn that into an opportunity for change and newness and blessing?

For you, it may be the loss of a job, the rejection of a manuscript, separation from a loved one, a move to an unfamiliar city, or some other disappointment. It's normal to feel like your dream -- or a part of you -- has died. I believe it's okay to feel grief, just as Jesus' disciples must have wept after His death, but today I also feel like I can encourage you to trust God to give you new life. Nothing can be so dead that it is beyond His power to resurrect!

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