New Beginnings

By Guest Columnist, Mentor Danelle Mills (reprinted from her Facebook with permission!)

Every year, springtime makes me think of new beginnings. The sense of renewal is everywhere—bright colored flowers, baby animals, green grass. Easter Sunday falls during this time of year, and as Believers, we celebrate the New Life we have in Jesus on that special day. This year, I have been thinking more about what exactly it is we have been given through the Resurrection.
Yesterday morning, our beloved dog, Chip was discovered in his crate no longer breathing. My husband tried to waken him by calling his name, but the dog was still. Deathly still. After the initial wail of loss, the tears flowed. I longed to have him back, to pat his head, to take him on one more walk. Last night, my daughter gathered up Chip’s favorite toys. The ones he’ll never play with again. This morning, my son realized he’ll never feed his dog again. We watched our other dog wander around, lost without his buddy. We keep looking outside, expecting to see him when we drive up. We just want to be with Chip. We will never have that opportunity again. It is all so permanent. He is gone.

This led me to spend some time thinking about the concept of “goodbyes”–of endings. I wonder if God, in His original design, intended for things to end. to stop. to cease. Was His creation, before the Fall, meant for saying goodbye? I think not. And that’s why it hurts. and aches. and stings.

And, I know that—as sad as losing my trusty dog is to me—losing a human relationship through that ugly wage of sin called “death” is an infinitely deeper loss. We can find comfort during such extreme grief because Jesus has provided the perfect (and only) solution to the separation that rips us apart and breaks our hearts. So, while I grieve over death, I rejoice that the hurt we feel when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death has a Remedy. A Victor. And, His name is Jesus.

Jesus was crucified, buried and rose again on the third day for the express purpose of putting a stop to such permanent endings. He conquered Death so that we can have a new beginning with Him that carries over into eternal life. That Kingdom will never come to an end. There will be no more goodbyes. I am driven to celebrate THAT sweet Truth this week.

“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
~1 Corinthians 15:54-57