The In-Between Days

We have reached that odd time between seasons. Winter is not officially over, and spring has not begun. Although the mornings are frosty-cold, there is a mildness in the air.

New Life

There is a stark contrast between a bitter January morning, and a chilly March morning. The earth is softer, and patches of green appear on the lawn. We awaken to the robins’ songs, and end our days with the spring peepers’ chorus.

Our home is caught between seasons too, most notably in the form of projects. Every sunny window is filled with plants that are almost ready for the garden. They were started from seeds in the basement nursery, then moved to the kitchen and dining room after being re-potted. Seedlings include cantaloupes, Delicata squash, zucchini, cucumbers, basil and several variety of tomatoes, all waiting to set their roots into the ground.

A Fresh Look

Meanwhile, upstairs we have been hard at work replacing our worn wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood flooring. So far we’ve only completed half of the hallway. The detail work and endless hitches along the way remind us of our century-old home in Massachusetts that we renovated from top to bottom over 30 years ago. The renovations we are doing today in Virginia remind us that our knees and backs have aged 30 years as well. 😉

We are making these updates while looking ahead to the future, when we will sell this house and embark on our retirement. And while we are not opposed to updating our next home, we hope our renovations are limited to painting and pruning.

I’ve been thinking about these “in-between” days, when we are halfway between ending one stage and beginning the next. That’s very much like my life here on earth — I am somewhat comfortable where I am, but I never feel completely at home.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”‭‭ – John‬ ‭14:1-4‬

The in-between times call for quiet patience and steadfast trust. There is so much hope in our future!

Just as surely as the buds will bloom each spring, Easter morning will return each year to remind us of the hope of the empty tomb, and the eternal home that awaits us.

The Perfect Easter

I am writing this Easter message tucked away in my home office, away from the noise of a movie playing in our living room downstairs. It was not what I had planned for our family time together today, but that is okay. I forgot to buy pineapple rings for the ham, so pineapple chunks were the last-minute substitute. I had hoped for a sunny, warm day today, but awoke to clouds and chilly air. Spring is fickle and so I adapted my church wardrobe to match the April Fool’s weather. Guess what? It’s all okay by me.

When I came to know Jesus, I realized that the perfect Easter had nothing to do with sunny skies, chocolate bunnies, or ham dinners.

Picture the empty tomb as the first rays of light broke over the horizon. The women had come to anoint Jesus’ body, but the heavy stone was already rolled away. His burial linens were neatly folded, but otherwise there was no trace he had ever been there. For Mary Magdalene and for Jesus’ disciples, this was not their plan for Easter morning.

Following those first few moments of chaos and confusion, an angel shares the best news they could ever have imagined:

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭16:6‬

It may have been hard for them to believe, but they soon realized it was true. In the days following, not only did they see Jesus, they talked with him, ate with him and prayed with him. He taught them and comforted them just as he always had, only now when he shared the promise of the Holy Spirit, they believed and understood. Death could not defeat him. He had overcome the grave!

Jesus could not remain on this earth; it was never his home. His work was finally finished — yet it had only begun. He still heals the sick, gives hope to the brokenhearted, and saves shattered lives every day.

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

May the peace of Christ enter your heart and home this Easter Sunday, and fill you with the hope of life everlasting.