Posts Tagged ‘meaning’

This is the closing post on the subject of “Life Is.” It’s a great summary and i wish i had written it. But, i didn’t. It was written by someone i hardly know and yet after reading this i felt like i had known him for years. Kindred spirits is all i can say. my hope is that you enjoy it as much as i have.

Life is a first date and a couple in the arms of new love where their hands gently, and accidentally, brush together. Life is holding the hand of the one you love as pledge yourself to a lifelong struggle of passionate love and commitment before

God, family, and friends. Life is holding that same haimagesnd and praying for God to take away the cancer that is slowly turning the one you love into a shell of who they used to be. Life is longing for the hand that has held yours and wondering if God could ever heal a hole that seems so vast and so real.

Many equate life with this finite span of physical existence, loving relationships, and emotional experiences that begin joyously at birth and end abruptly in death.  Life is a flower in the field, growing and beautiful, but gone in the morning. Those we know are here today and gone tomorrow. We wake up remembering what it felt like when we were young, but as we roll out of bed we feel the weight of all the years that were gone too fast. When we look at it this way life is wonderful and beautiful but ultimately it is a defeat and no victory can be found in it. Because, life explained only in terms of this world will always leave us wanting.

Is this what Christ meant when he said he wants to give us “abundant life”. Did he give us the beauty of a sunset or the joy of love as the height of life? Or is there something more?

I would like to suggest that we have begun to translate what is offered in this world as a definition of life. All its joys and sorrows, comforts and worries, all we can feel and see have consumed us. We no longer know of the Kingdom of God here and now. Life can be found in this world yet it is much more. Christ came and has shown us what true life is. We miss the awesome power of these words, “I AM the way and the truth and the life”.   What Paul said is right “For to me, to live is CHRIST and to die is gain.” To live in this world is to live in humble obedience to Christ and to sow the rewards of eternity. A life lived as a beacon for Christ will be rewarded in eternal life, where death is a beginning.

Life is Christ. Life is abundant and eternal love. Life is trouble in this world and tremendous wonderful joy in the next. We live here and now, but we fix our gaze on eternity and true life. This truth will give us eyes to enjoy the meaning and purpose of today as well as experience, in part, the joy and reward of Christ.  Life is the joyous communion we have, through Christ and in the Spirit, with the God of Abraham.

The first century church with all the persecution and turmoil knew of a life that few in this generation have ever tasted.  We have entertainment, comfort, technology, education, and everything we could ever need.  We have interpreted life and it’s meaning from these things. But life is found in the pierced hands of our Savior. The knowledge and love of Christ will illuminate the love we have in this life and it will bring forth joy from sorrow. The way to the find the true interpretation of life is up Calvary’s hill, passed the entrance of an empty tomb, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  In Christ true life is made clear.

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i have shared this very Easter for many years and i’m sharing it today instead of waiting for tomorrow in hopes that it will serve as a tool for remembering what the next three days are all about.. Perhaps this fits our series Life Is… better than one would think. Just maybe this is an example of what “Life Is”

Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, Texas.  She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will Phillips.  Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people.  His favorite patient was Edith Burns.

One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns.  When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her.

Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way:  “Hello, my name is Edith Burns.  Do you believe in Easter?”  Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved.

Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the head nurse, Beverly.  Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure.  Edith began by saying, “My name is Edith Burns.  Do you believe in Easter?”

Beverly said, “Why, yes, I do.” Edith said, “Well, what do you believe about Easter?” Beverly said, “Well, it’s all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up.”

Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Phillips said, “Beverly, don’t call Edith into the office quite yet.  I believe there is another delivery taking place in the
waiting room.”

After being called back in the doctor’s office, Edith sat down, and when she took a look at the doctor she said, “Dr. Will, why are you so sad?  Are you reading your Bible?  Are you praying?”

Dr. Phillips said gently, “Edith, I’m the doctor and you’re the patient.”  With a heavy heart he said, “Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you’re not going to live very long.”

Edith said, “Why Will Phillips, shame on you.  Why are you so sad?  Do you think God makes mistakes?  You have just told me I’m going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends.  You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!”

Dr. Phillips thought to himself, “What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!”

Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips.  Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3rd.  On the day the office opened, Edith did not show up.

Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to be moving her story to the hospital and said, “Will, I’m very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room who need to know about Easter.”

Well, they did just that, and women began to come in and share that room with Edith.  Many women were saved.  Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith that they started calling her Edith Easter; that is, everyone except Phyllis Cross, the head nurse.

Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a “religious nut”.  She had been a nurse in an army hospital.  She had seen it all and heard it all.  She was the original G.I. Jane.  She had been married three times, she was hard, cold, and did everything by the book.

One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick.  Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot.

When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Well, you can quit praying for me.  It won’t work and I’m not interested.”

Edith said, “Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the family.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Then you will never die because that will never happen,” and curtly walked out of the room.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would say, “God loves you, Phyllis, and I love you, and I’m praying for you.”

One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith’s room like a magnet would draw iron.  She sat down on the bed and Edith said, “I’m so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, ‘Do you believe in Easter?’, but you have never asked me.”

Edith said, “Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked .”

Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter Story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Edith said, “Phyllis, do you believe in Easter?  Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?”

Phyllis Cross said, “Oh, I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life.”  Right there, Phyllis Cross prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart.  For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels.

Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, “Do you know what day it is?”

Phyllis Cross said, “Why Edith, it’s Good Friday.”

Edith said, “Oh, no, for you every day is Easter.  Happy Easter, Phyllis!”

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties, and then went down to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies, because she wanted to go up to see Edith, give her some Easter lilies, and wish her a Happy Easter.

When she walked into Edith’s room, Edith was in bed.  That big black Bible was on her lap.  Her hands were in that Bible.  There was a sweet smile on her face.  When Phyllis Cross went to pick up Edith’s hand, she realized Edith was dead.  Her left hand was on John 14:2

“In my Father’s house are many mansions.  I go to prepare a place for you.  I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4:

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down her cheeks said, “Happy Easter, Edith — Happy Easter!”

Phyllis Cross left Edith’s body, walked out of the room and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting.

She said, “My name is Phyllis Cross.  Do you believe in Easter?”

God works in wonderful ways, and to believe in His power is to truly be free.

In closing… Do you believe in Easter?