Archive for March, 2018

When You Can’t Imagine

By Kathy NickersonMarch 29th, 2018mercyNo Comments

Some of us who live in the Midwest are having a hard time imagining Easter is on the way. The days are mostly gray, and the sky keeps spitting down cold rain, sometimes freezing on our windshields and sidewalks. The other day, we had snow. There are no daffodils.

Actually, our weather is rather symbolic for this side of Easter. The darkness of the world when Jesus died. The cold, dreary hopelessness that settled on His followers. The feeling that joy and light and beauty will never come again.

Sometimes, then and now, we simply can’t imagine better days.

And that, Dear Reader, is the true hope of Easter. We don’t have to imagine it. The power that raised Jesus from the dead did not depend on the faith of His friends. God determined to conquer death. He spoke the word, and Jesus came out of that tomb, despite all the doubts and fears of the men and women who would soon become the first church.

Whether I can imagine it or not, Easter is coming. It comes every year to remind us that Jesus is alive. Despite the weather, despite the world, despite my own troubles with all this earth stuff, Jesus is alive.

Better days are coming, and they shall last forever. I’ve read it in the Bible, and I feel it in my soul.

I can imagine.

I do believe.

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The Hardest Commandment

By Kathy NickersonMarch 19th, 2018mercy2 Comments

 

 

Sometimes, I find it hard to obey what I know to be right. Be kind. Be merciful. Believe the best. Stop gossiping. Don’t covet your neighbors new sofa. That kind of thing. But during this Easter season, I’m thinking about how hard it must have been for the women who loved Jesus to obey the Sabbath.

The ironic part is that Jesus had tried to show them the Sabbath was given for their benefit, a blessing of rest. It wasn’t meant to be a set of rules. But they wouldn’t figure that out for a while. On this Friday, they would obey as they always had.

Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus to his own tomb for burial. The women who loved Jesus followed and watched. I can’t even imagine. The death of a loved one required specific details like anointing the body with spices. This last act of love was the only thing a mother could do for her son. But, it was too late. The Sabbath was upon them.

So, the women went home. All day on Saturday, they waited. It must have been the hardest Sabbath to keep in their entire lifetimes. They couldn’t even chat on their cell phones to one another and share the agony. They simply waited. At the first crack of dawn, they would race to the tomb.

But, for now, they waited. And obeyed.

I think there is a lesson here for me. I get rather frantic in the waiting sometimes. I forget that while I’m wriggling around, wanting the waiting to end, things are happening. Things that I cannot see. On that Sabbath, death was being destroyed forever.

The women who loved Jesus thought they would go to anoint His dead body after the Sabbath. Instead, they would be the first to announce the Best News in the Whole World.

It was worth the wait.

 

 

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Happy Endings, Eventually

By Kathy NickersonMarch 13th, 2018mercy1 Comment

Last week, I heard a sweet, elderly lady talk about a car accident she experienced in the winter. As they were going to church, she and her husband hit black ice on a mountain road. The car whirled in a circle and rolled over three times. As the car tumbled, she remembers thinking, “Well, this will end.”

She might have meant her life was about to end. But I heard the phrase like a promise for all the hard times in my life.

This. Will. End. 

The upside-down-roll can’t last forever.

None of the difficult earth stuff lasts forever. Not labor pains, cancer scares, financial woes, marital strife, or terror in the night. Not even grief will last forever. Some of these things may end badly on this side of Heaven. But, the agony of endurance will end. Then, we begin the walking forward in a new reality. With loss, perhaps. But forward.

As for my friends in the car accident, they rolled to a stop, right-side-up, still headed in the same direction. They hopped into the next car that came along and arrived at church on time.

That is the attitude I want to adopt. When this trouble ends, I will move on. I’ll keep going even if I have bruises. And, I will thank God for His protection. I will sing, too, because I know that one of these days all the rolling and whirling and suffering will end forever.  We will finally reach the Place of Pure Delight where we have been going all our lives.

And that delight, Dear Reader, will never end.

 

 

(Disclaimer: This is a happy post, so we aren’t talking about what happens to the folks who don’t love God. But, if you are worried about that, please email me. Eternal tumbling would be awful.)

 

 

 

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