Life after Death

Easter always reminds me of my son. In April of 1987, weeks before his high school graduation, my eighteen year-old son Chris was killed in an auto accident. It was a devastating loss.

After the funeral, I would go to the cemetery and sit beneath a tree near his gravesite and weep, crying out to God for answers and reprieve from the unbearable pain. Day after day, hour after hour for weeks on end, I continued my daily ritual of mourning his death beneath the tree near his grave.

I was a young Christian at the time and I knew that Chris was a believer who was with the Lord, it brought me no peace. I missed him too much. The huge void of emptiness and loss was overwhelming and I was unable to come to terms with his death. So I continued to grieve beneath the tree near his grave.

I needed to engage in life again – to get unstuck. I still had a six year-old daughter who needed me. But again and again I found myself sitting for hours on end beneath the tree near his grave.

One afternoon, I was reflecting on the day Chris gave his heart and life to Jesus when I noticed a little flower. The tiny bloom was just beginning to blossom and would have been easy to miss. I looked around from my spot beneath the tree and noticed for the first time other shrubs and flowers starting to bloom. I saw beautiful colors - pinks, purples, yellows, and whites all around me. Colors were returning and things were coming to life again.

That was the moment my heart began to heal. If the flowers could begin a new season and come back to life again after the death of winter, I could do the same.

My precious son was gone and I missed him but he was alive in heaven thanks to the Easter story of life after death. I began to look forward to being reunited with my son again, to accept the reality of what had happened, and trust in God’s plan for my life.

As I stood up from my place beneath the tree near his grave that day, everything was different. It wouldn’t be easy and it didn’t happen overnight but God used that little flower to get me started – to help me step out into a new beginning.

Easter is a time to celebrate new life. Jesus’ death on the cross leads to the forgiveness of sin and his resurrection from the grave provides the power for new life. God is a God of second chances, clean slates, and do-overs. Is it time for a new beginning in your life? Today is a great day to step out into one. Happy Easter!

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. ~ Matthew 28:5-6a


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