As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gratitude 31--Life: Sacrificed, Provided, Eternal

Palm Sunday is an odd day for me. On one hand, I want to focus on Jesus. I want to meditate on the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb for me. I want to be in awe of the love that would give such an extravagant gift for one so undeserving.

However, my mind wanders. On Palm Sunday seven years ago, my dad went into the hospital...for the last time. He had been sick for some time. The last nine months had been very difficult. Multiple hospital stays, trips to the ER, and times of needing intense care spotted the calendar.

When I received the call from my mom that Dad was in the ER again and he was being admitted to the hospital, I went to be with them. I knew in my heart this was it. Our journey was done.

On Thursday of that week, my dad was released from the hospital. X-rays showed a mass, not pneumonia. A biopsy had been done, and we were waiting for the results.

We spent Easter with my parents. Dad sat in the sun, watched his small ground children hunt Lego blocks. In the wildness of the week, we never thought about eggs, so we improvised. He laughed a lot. I committed every moment to memory that I could. Treasures stored in the heart.

Late that afternoon, I took my children home. As much as I wanted to stay with Dad, I knew the little ones were tired and in need of rest.

In the late hours of Easter, Dad went home, too. As much as he wanted to stay with us, Jesus knew he was tired and in need of rest.

I suppose some might think my dad's passing on at Easter would diminish the day somehow, but on the contrary, it only makes it more special.

For me, Easter is not just about the salvation of my soul, although that is amazing beyond words. To me, Easter is about my dad breathing without struggling for air. It's about his being able to walk as far as he wants without chest pains, getting dizzy, or passing out.

Easter is about passing on the love of the Word my dad instilled in me to my children. Life continuing from generation to generation. It's morning coffee with the Dad of all time, sharing my heart, hearing His, and letting Him speak through me.

Easter is not just about what Jesus did 2000 years ago. It's about what He is doing now and what He wants to do.

It's life that changes sometimes in form, sometimes in place, but still goes on, and the hope that life can always be better here...and There.

And today I am filled with gratitude.

776. Jerry Dale Kelley--December 13, 1940 - April 21, 2003

777b. Top hats :-)

777. An empty tomb

778. Love that stayed on a cross

779. Doctors who do the best they can

780. Mercy

781. Breathing without pain

782. No oxygen tanks are needed in Heaven

783. Amazing medical staff

784. Lego "eggs"

785. Sunshine

786. Hope

787. Precious memories

788. Stories that still bring laughter

789. Provision beyond my ability to fathom

790. Laughter

791. Pictures and video

792. Life--here and There

793. Death--that makes me realize the power and blessing of life

794. Being able to tell people God is faithful, even when their hearts are broken

795. The Bible--The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

796. HUGE Easter Egg hunts at church

797. Matching dresses my mom made

798. Plastic eggs with a quarter in them

799. Dozens of boiled eggs dipped and colored turning from white orbs to rainbows

800. My grandma who didn't fuss about the Easter egg coloring mess

801. The reality of the resurrection in my life and my heart.

Yes, I stop and think about this week, what was done for me...what has been done IN me...the life given on a cross 2000 years ago so I can have life today and for eternity...and I am in awe...

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