Monday, April 21, 2014

easter {behind the scenes}

I rolled out of bed at 6:30 after two battles with the snooze button.
The day had promised warmth but the morning air still held a chill.

Was there ever a person who looked forward to exposing their warmed, under-cover skin to the cold on the other side?  Not this one.  I don't care what day it is or what is awaiting me, a cozy bed always has trouble letting me go.

The hot shower helped and then the contacts gave me my sight back.  With my bathrobe still on I was finally alert enough to do what I have purposed to do at the beginning of each day.  My knees cracked and popped on the way down and I settled my shins, then my forearms and finally my head down on the carpeted floor of my closet.
I breathed
in deep
out long.
I let the uncomfortable silence and stillness become comfortable before the whispered words began.
I offered thanks
dumped out worries
proclaimed truth
and asked for grace.
On that day, in particular, that Easter Sunday, I felt the power in praying to God not so that I could be heard and seen but so that He could be heard and seen.

Working for a church has made me keenly aware that there are 'things' that will straight up sabotage any effort to bring glory and honor to Jesus.  There will be obstacles every time you try to bring the truth and light and freedom of the gospel to others.  And so on a day when my church had planned to do just that for hundreds and hundreds of people, I knew my prayers held power over such 'things' because my God is all-powerful.

I slipped out of the house before little smoothie-covered fingers had a chance to stain my perfectly white pants and headed towards that old warehouse on Monroe Road.  It was there that I gathered with the other leaders of our church to bring each of our voices into collective prayer.  Less than an hour later the doors would open and people would flood inside.  We knew that for Easter to really mean something to them we would need much more than the efforts of eight people and their teams of volunteers.  For this reason all of our prayers were tied together with one pleading request...
     that the gospel would reach the heart of every person not just through our words and our songs and our programs but by the power of the holy spirit so that the truth would be planted deep within them.

And so the people came.
And more did the Spirit of the Living God.

Over the nearly 5 hours I spent at church on Easter Sunday I witnessed resurrection story after resurrection story.
Life springing forth from people who were once dead.
Freedom from addictions that were killing them.
Escape from situations that were killing them.
Transformation of marriages that were killing them.
Release from fears that were killing them.
None of that was the result of the words we spoke or the songs we sang or the programs we offered.
It was the power of the spirit of God in the midst of those things that literally raised people from dark graves into new life and a living hope.

It's the precious truth of Easter...
Jesus didn't come simply to prove that He could rise from the dead.
He came to show you that you can too.

He took from us the death that comes from all our sin and depravity and gave us back the life that comes only from Him.

We bow down to Him so that we might rise up with Him...
     for eternity...and also for today.

How has God resurrected your life?

If you need some life infused into your dead places,
if your story needs a new beginning...
listen here.