We have live oak trees scattered all over our little two acres of land. I love their twisted gnarled trunks and branches and their hardiness. They stand strong in the face of winds, storms and scorching sun.
The thing I love best about them is that they are always green. For the past few weeks the old leaves have been fluttering to the ground as the spring breezes have blown through their branches. They are bereft of new life for only a very brief time. Within days the tiny tassels, the promise of new leaves, begin to emerge, and the trees are clothes in that wonderful shade of green that only new life can bring.
As I walked down the sidewalk this morning to begin our walk, I came face to face with that promise of new life.
The tiny new leaves are already beginning to grow, and the sight of them did something to my heart.
I seem to have lost Easter somehow this year. In the midst of emergency room visits, days spent in the sterile environment of hospital rooms, difficult diagnosis, treatments that seem somehow to always go wrong, trying to comfort aging parents, a racing heart every time the phone rings.....it faded into the background. Seeing that new life reminded me. He is risen, and He came to set us free and give us abundant life.
Even when life takes a turn that feels like it's sending us wildly out of control, He is there. That abundant life means hope in the midst of despair, joy in the face of sorrow and the promise of something more wonderful than our minds can conceive in our future.
I am reminded of the story of "The Grinch." He tried to stop Christmas from coming, but Christmas was far more than he had imagined. The enemy wanted more than anything to stop Easter from coming - but it came and it comes bringing hope, joy and eternal life for all who believe.
"Jesus told her, I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never die." John 11:25