A whole year of days stretches out before us, but sometimes? It’s hard to step into tomorrow, because we know that some of the best beginnings end ugly.
We’ve memorized the ache of endings.
We’re old enough to know how dreams can die,
so we’re scared to dream.
We know how relationships can wither,
so we’re scared to love.
We’ve felt the sting of failure,
so we don’t want to try anymore.
You can put a finger on the hollow ache in your heart, pointing to the places where your best hopes faded. You can walk through life, tiptoeing into tomorrow, and you might think that there are only tombstones in these fields.
But in Christ, the cemetery isn’t an ending.
In Christ, endings are always passageways, not closed doors. In Christ, endings are a moving from here to there, a turning of a page in a book that stretches out into forever, a God-ordained “furthermore,” a heart-pounding “and then!” that we are living. Right now.
Endings don’t always look like passageways. I get that. Endings are often painful. They can make a new year seem like a sham, like same ol’, same ol‘, like more opportunity for disappointment. Endings can take you to the brink of your sanity, and to the ragged edge of your hope.
They can also take you to Christ. Even in the cemetery. Especially in the cemetery.
The Christmas story moves forward and then — bam — it crashes head-on with the worst of humanity, in the most heart-wrenching Friday in the history of Fridays. But Christmas doesn’t end on the cross, and it doesn’t end in the cemetery. Christmas is a timeless truth spilling onto every page of the unending Book of Everything. It changes your forever. And it changes your TODAY.
Walk into the cemetery again, that place where hopes go to die. Walk there, and walk slow, so you don’t miss the miracle.
But very early on Sunday morning
the women went to the tomb,
taking the spices they had prepared.
~ Luke 24:1
Friend, prepare your spices. Carry them with you.
Carry them in your purse or your pocket. Carry them when you feel like endings are periods, in places where you need commas. Carry them to the places that feel like cemeteries, to anyplace where endings aren’t always as they seem.
Carry your spices all year, to know that in Christ, endings aren’t always endings.
That is, unless you let your endings be endings. Unless you let your dreams die. Unless you let fear have unrestricted access to your one precious heart.
“The most valuable land in the world is the graveyard,” someone once said. “In the graveyard are buried all of the unwritten novels, never-launched businesses, unreconciled relationships, and all of the other things that people thought, ‘I’ll get around to that tomorrow.’ One day, however, their tomorrows ran out.”
Carry your spices to remember that Christ rose to give you hope for tomorrow.
And carry your spices to remember that we will suffer, but that suffering conforms us to the image of our Savior.
Carry your spices so you know that new beginnings are on the other side of the most daunting stone in the history of the world — the one at the tomb of your Savior.
Dare to dream. Dare to love again. Have hope. Believe.
Carry your spices to your Savior, where a sealed tomb always becomes a surprise passageway … where a tomb becomes a new beginning that the spice-carriers didn’t even know was possible.
“Why are you looking among the dead
for someone who is alive?
He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead.”
~ Luke 24:5-6
Receive more encouragement from Jennifer in When Jesus Shows Up on Your Doorstep
Jennifer Dukes Lee used to cover crime, politics, and natural disasters as an award-winning news journalist in the Midwest. Now, Jennifer uses her reporting skills to chase after the biggest story in history: the redemptive story of Christ. Soon, her words will make their way into her debut nonfiction Christian book, Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes. She and her husband live on the Lee family farm in Iowa with their two daughters.
To learn more about the author, please visit Jennifer Dukes Lee