Why I Need Resurrection
By Beth Demme
On a recent Spiritual Retreat, I was walking through the forest and I was struck by how resurrection was everywhere. I associate resurrection with Springtime, but it’s only the end of summer now, just about to edge into fall. Everywhere I looked I saw new life growing out of the old. I saw fallen trees give life to green vines. I saw decayed mulch give life to green sprouts. I listened to the birds sing and the crickets chirp, each note bringing its own kind of life to the air.
I felt surrounded by life in the midst of decay.
The troubling thing about resurrection is that it requires death. We don’t like to see things—good things—end, do we? And yet, sometimes they have to end so that something even more vibrant and vital can grow.
I’m learning there are parts of me that need to die to make way for resurrection. In fact, this is always part of a spiritual adventure. John Wesley described it as Sanctification. We are growing and maturing in our ability to live as Jesus lived. We are constantly on a journey to have our inner thoughts and our outward behavior align with God’s will.
The death part of resurrection can be scary because it feels unknown. And yet, we don’t have to be afraid.
I love Psalm 139, I’ve read it and prayed it many times. I prayed it as I walked the forest the other day and a pair of verses I had always glossed over struck me in a new way. Verse 8 says, “If I ascend to heaven you [God] are there; if I make my bed in Hell, you are there.” Verse 11 says, “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
God is present in everything, even the parts of resurrection that scare me.
God is present in the darkness, even the darkness in me.
As I considered Psalm 139, I found myself praying. “Lead me to resurrection, Lord. Transform those parts of me that don’t align with your will, make them new. And help me, God, to see where you have already done this so that I might be a little less scared to let go.”
When I finished my walk, I returned to the retreat center and sat on the porch. As I sat down and made myself comfortable, I looked out onto the garden, with the lily pad pond at its center. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the shape the lily pads had floated into.
Because resurrection really is everywhere.
What about you? Are you on a spiritual adventure? Are you in tune with the parts of your mind and spirit that need to experience resurrection? Tell me about it in the comments, in an e-mail, or on Facebook.
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