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Archive for April, 2010

Season Arrives on Wings of Hope

This column has been rerun by popular demand. Its original run date is The Tribune March 17, 2008.

Some weeks are filled with ordinary days. Days when we follow familiar routines. Days that seem to come and go without particular notice. Events we anticipate and expectations that unfold as planned. There can be a sense of comfort in that pattern, and yet, if we’re not careful, that routine can promote complacency that prompts us to pass through the days without much care.

Not this week, however. This is no ordinary time, at least for me. Spring will usher in a season of new beginnings. A time to clean out the dust and clear away the clutter of days passed to make room for the changes that are in store. It’s a time to plan and plant, and then wait in anticipation of what is to come. It’s a time of hope.

I’ll celebrate yet another birthday. How old? Well, let’s just say my family had to stop putting candles on my cake many years ago. While I’m not too crazy about the number, I’m indeed glad I have another one to celebrate. I’ve just nestled into this midlife stage and am trying to make the most of it before I turn yet another corner. Actually, this is a good time in my life. I’m taking opportunities to reflect back on the blessings that have been a part of my past and am looking forward to new memories to be made. While I would like to avoid any more gray hair or aching joints, I do want to see what God has in store for me in the days ahead. It’s a time of hope.

There’s another day of remembrance for me. A few years ago, God reached down from Heaven to take my mother’s hand and carry her to the place He prepared for her – with Him. She left this world behind and stepped into an eternity with the One whom she loved most of all and spent her life serving. While our family misses her dearly, we believe without a doubt that she’s experiencing a joy she never knew before and a peace that surpasses our understanding. Death may feel like an ending, and yet, when you have a relationship with God you know it’s not an ending at all but rather a time of transition from a temporary place here on Earth to an eternal home. It’s a time of hope.

Sandwiched in between these two weeks is Easter. As this season unfolds, I’ve found myself reflecting on how Jesus’ followers dealt with such a time in their lives. They had spent three years believing they were on a journey toward deliverance and that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for. They sat at the feet of their teacher as He opened the eyes of their heart to a deeper understanding of God. They stood by His side, ministering to others. They shared their hearts with Him as they broke bread together. The future looked full of promise. Then, suddenly, their dreams shattered and their joyful hearts flooded with fear. Hope seemed to slip through their hands as they watched their Messiah taken from them, crucified and then buried in a tomb. Imagine their sense of loss, their pain, and their feelings of hopelessness.

The next day for them was the Sabbath, a day of worship. What a challenge to draw close to God and follow in worship and obedience, in the midst of what seemed like profound loss and future uncertainty. Yet, God carried them through that Sabbath into a new day and showed them that what felt like an ending was in fact a part of His ultimate plan for their lives, and for ours, as they met their risen Savior – God’s promise fulfilled. Easter: it’s a time of hope, indeed.

Whether these days are ordinary ones for you or they hold special remembrances as they do for me, let a spirit of hope fill your heart and guide your steps as you enjoy this time of year. Blessings to you all.