Posted by: Brad Stanford | March 29, 2010

Spring, Cocoons, And Resurrection

Spring manifested itself with a vengeance. I was expecting a few insect-free days of incredibly perfect temperatures, here in the country. But the first day with nice weather, I walked outside, and there were giant wasps, full-grown spiders, and tall grass. How did the growth escape my attention?

Of course, I was so focused on keeping me and my family warm, that I didn’t have time to notice everything around me. So I suddenly find myself surrounded by new life. The funny thing is, after surviving my first winter with a wood burning stove that has seen better days, I appreciate the vibrance in the buzzing, flitting, and croaking. If the choice is between having to share outside with everything else or having to keep warm, I’ll choose the former, thank you very much.

I’ve thought more about hibernation and cocoons. In fact, I heard a lesson last night on the idea of metamorphosis and transformation as it relates to truth and God. The seasons and the critters really do cry out to us about what God is doing in His kingdom. But even more than that, It is the idea of cold and dark bursting forth into light and warmth that has caught my attention.

And although I am surrounded by new life, I find myself being pulled into a dark place. The economy has finally caught up with me and my family. I thought I had a really good hiding place, but nonetheless, I have found myself at the short end of the financial stick lately.  I have no idea how deep this rabbit hole goes. I do know what it is for.

Death.

Death to what I want, what I’m afraid of, or what I believe is in my control. Also, death to the idea that I can’t fly, to my definitions of rescue, to not trusting in resurrection.

In the Old Testament, Job lost everything, and he was reborn. Not an easy story, though. He experienced a level of loss I would not pray on my worst enemy. And yet, there was new life, and a greater man because of it.

Paul was beaten multiple times, stoned by angry crowds, shipwrecked, bitten by a snake after the shipwreck, was poor, was rich, and had many enemies. And he considered himself to be “rescued”:

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. (2 Timothy 3)

I have no idea how much this economy will affect me. But by looking around me, I know what the eventual outcome of this cocoon will be: resurrection.

This next weekend is Easter weekend for many. Reminders of resurrection will be everywhere. There will be sunrise services, candlelight services, egg hunts, parties, and people watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion (once was enough for me!). There will be all sorts of thoughts, emotions, and fights over candy.

But this is the first year where I will be soberly thinking about resurrection as a lifestyle, and not a one-time event after death. This year, I will take another sip from the cup, and get a fresh taste of death and life. This year, God is teaching me about the daily cross.

I invite you to think about yours as well.

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Responses

  1. Hey Brad. We have been living in the country for around 2 years now in one of those “country houses” and we use those little space heaters to keep warm. We don’t have a wood furnace even though I don’t think we would have used it much anyways even if we did have one, who knows.. Pretty soon your going to want a truck also because it’s hard to get along in the country with out a truck, you’ll find out. Yeah we go through around 4 or so cans of wasp bee bug spray a year around here also. going around the house and knocking down all the nest before summer time cuts them down qite abit also. The bugs were our biggest city folk flaw to get over when we first moved out here also. I mean there’s some big spiders and big bugs out here not to mention the coyotes blood curtling hows every other night.


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