Book Drawing: Leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll enter your name for a March book drawing to win a copy of The Stained Glass Pickup.
January of this year, my husband received three solicitations in the mail. They reminded both of us that life is marching on and leaving its boot tread.
One company wanted to sell him a burial policy. Another urged him to buy a Miracle Ear hearing aid, and the third recommended preordering a tombstone. Those purchases will no doubt be made some day, but for now, I’d rather invest my money and time in people and in personal growth than a chunk of marble with chiseled names.
We’re several years from even drawing social security and reminders are all around us that you’re not what you used to be. Growing older is inevitable, but even though the body declines, a person can be renewed in other ways.
In Susannah Seton’s book, Simple Pleasures of the Garden, she says, “The garden grows us.” As Easter approaches this year, I couldn’t shake her words out of my mind. The earth’s bounty wasn’t meant to only nourish us physically, to keep us “healthy” until we die.
This God-created planet, with food sources, air, water and beauty, is a great big garden where we were God supplies all we need to mature intellectually, morally, and emotionally. God intentionally planted us here creating a perfect environment for good growth. We can thrive here.
This is a lesson the women learned when they visited the garden-tomb of Jesus. While alive, he had given them visuals of a better life. He brought people back to life, to breathe again. He took a 12 year old girl’s hand and urged her back to this garden to grow some more (John 5:24).
On another day, a funeral procession wound toward the city limits. A widowed woman prepared to bury her son, but Jesus halted the makeshift bier and said to her, “Don’t cry” (Luke 7). He had resurrection plans, to give her son back, to give opportunity for growth in this earth-garden.
And Lazarus, who had been gone four whole days, Jesus called him from his tomb. He hobbled out still bound in strips of burial cloths. A stunned crowd saw life reborn, emerging in a cemetery.
The women at Jesus’ garden tomb expected to continue their mourning about decline and loss, but a surprise awaited them. They were greeted by angels not death. These messengers said, “He is risen. He is not here!”
Our spirits, the inner person, does not have to age. In Christ they are renewed every day. And it was near Jesus’ empty garden tomb, God further revealed his perfect plan of immortal life—no retirement, no graves, and no tombstones. And he calls us to grow because of the garden message, “He is risen.”