The Waiting Room

When was the last time you sat in a waiting room in the doctor’s office?  I want you to visualize the setting.  Perhaps the room was crowded, full of people you were sure carried multiple types of diseases.  The children sneezed and coughed profusely, never once covering their mouths.  You picked up a magazine to try to occupy your mind, only to find that it was the same magazine you already read cover-to-cover three months ago.  Sitting there, you wonder why you even made an appointment.  You still have to wait along with everyone else.  You’re probably getting sicker by the minute, being subjected to this germ-infested environment.  Just when you were about to throw in the towel and give up, the nurse opens the door and calls your name.

Life is a lot like a doctor’s waiting room.  Each day, there are difficulties we must face.  These struggles will often weigh us down, infecting us just like the germs that may be found in a doctor’s office.  The constant battles we have to fight cause us to grow impatient, much like someone who is waiting for an appointment that is overdue.  Just like the patients sitting in those uncomfortable straight-backed vinyl covered chairs, our names will soon be called.  Unlike the nurse who calls our names from a clipboard in her hand, our names will one day be read directly from the Lamb’s Book of Life.
I want to encourage you, if you are not certain that your name is written in this Heavenly Book, make today the day that you begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Today could be the day that you are called from this temporary home to your permanent home on high.  Have you made your appointment?  If not, it’s not too late.  You have no guarantee that you will breathe another breath.  No man, woman, or child, young or old, has the certainty that tomorrow will even come.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Make your appointment for Heaven today.  Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, and ask Him to be the Lord of your life.  If you do, your life will never be the same.  And you will know that when your name is called, you will walk through Heaven’s gates to live eternally with the Lord.
This morning, I attended the memorial service for a young teenager whose name was called this past weekend.  There was little warning for her and her family.  She lost her life due to injuries sustained in a accident.  As I sat there, I continuously began to ask myself, “Why?”  Why did this young girl not have the opportunity to graduate high school, go to college, or get married?  Why was she taken from this earth at the young age of fourteen?  Why didn’t God spare her life?  Of course, I know I am not alone.  I’m sure that everyone in the sanctuary had similar questions on their mind.  While sorrow filled my heart, hearing the stories of her vibrant, yet short-lived life, I also felt peace in my heart.  You see, she knew Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior.  She made her appointment in Heaven long ago.  And I know that her name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and I will see her again one day.
While we may not be able to comprehend why things like this happen, we can rest assured that God has everything under control.  He knows our hearts are sad.  He feels our pain.  He sees our tears.  Yet, He knows how our story ends.  Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Notice this scripture does not say that all things are good.  Instead, it says that God will work everything together for our good.  Does this mean that we will never encounter a trial?  Does the scripture mean that we will never have a bad day?  No.  What it does mean is that God will take each trial and every single bad day and in His own special way, use them for our good.

You may be thinking, how could the death of a young girl be used for good?  I cannot answer this question.  Only God knows what the future will bring.  He knows our future and He knows our past.  And He is walking beside us right now, in the present, holding our hands as we stumble along the road of life.  Through every illness, tragedy, and even death, He will be our strength when we are weary, our peace when we are distressed, and our hope when we are hopeless.  Even in every moment of heartache, God has given us a promise that we can stake our lives on.  He has promised us that this earth, with all of its turmoil, is only temporary.  We are just passing through on our way to our eternal home, Heaven.  We won’t have to wait in this dreary waiting room much longer.  2 Corinthians 5:1-5 (The Message) says:
For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we'll never have to relocate our "tents" again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it! We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less.
If you want to experience the joy of knowing that this life is only temporary, don’t wait until tomorrow.  Don’t sit there in frustration, uncertain of where you will go when you die.  Don’t leave your family and friends wondering if they will see you again.  Don’t sit there miserable because you feel like you are a prisoner to this world of sorrow; instead, cling to the One who will restore your joy, set you free, and light the way home.  Jesus Christ will be a friend who is closer than a brother.  He will love you when you feel unlovable.  He will pick you up when you fall.  And best of all, if you have a personal relationship with Him, He will welcome you with open arms when your life on earth is done.  Don’t sit there, trying to remember if you made an appointment, growing agitated with the long wait.  Make your reservations and set your sights on Heaven until the day you make it home!
In Christ's Love,

Cracked Eggs

When was the last time you cracked an egg?  Perhaps it was just this morning as you were making breakfast.  Maybe it was this past Easter when you cracked open the first boiled egg that you so carefully decorated with your children.  Or maybe you haven’t cracked an egg since the summer camp where you and your fellow campers participated in an egg toss.  Eggs are a wonderful example of God’s delicate handiwork.  From delicious meals to newborn chicks, eggs end hunger and give birth to new life.  But what good is an egg until it’s cracked?

An egg’s shell is such an intricate container, bearing the perfect size and shape to maintain the egg or chick inside in its proper position and climate.  While this shell serves its purpose well, it is extraordinarily fragile.  The tiniest tap on the shell can result in a crack.  The egg whites start to trickle out.  Soon the egg yolk flows out in one continuous motion.  Soon all that is left is an empty shell, cracked and broken.
In reality, you and I are a lot like this egg.  We have this outer shell that often serves as a shield from physical, emotional, or mental heartache.  Yet this wall that we put up is extremely delicate, just like an egg shell.  Many times, one bit of news can seemingly cause our shell to crack, or even the whole world around us to crumble.
The loss of a loved one, the ending of a marriage through divorce, the suffering of a child who is battling a life-threatening disease, the burden of possible bankruptcy…all of these things can cause our life to go into a tailspin.  When our life takes an unplanned turn such as these, this is the moment our shell is compromised.
Inevitably, the shell cracks.  Everything within us vanishes, leaving us feeling alone, frightened, and empty, just like the remains of a cracked egg.  The raw emotions we have held in for so long begin to ooze their way out of this shell that we have hid in for so long.  But it is only once the shell is cracked that people realize who we really are inside.  They finally get to see the real person who has been hiding in a broken shell.
Inevitably, an egg is useless unless it is broken. You cannot eat an egg unless the shell is broken.  Despite the many comedy routines depicting the “baker” mixing whole eggs into the batter, you can’t bake with an egg that is still in its shell.  Even a chick that is growing inside of an egg eventually breaks out of the shell.  The shell simply serves as a vessel to ingeniously hold the contents inside.  But this shell only holds these contents for a season.  Without first cracking the shell, the egg is essentially useless in its unbroken state.
Similarly, you and I live in another type of shell.  The only question is whether or not you live in a broken or unbroken shell.  Do you hold all of your emotions inside, hoping no one will see the “real you?”  Has there been a time when you said you were “okay,” even though the pain and grief were nearly too much to bear?  Personally, I have been there.  I know what it’s like to live inside of a shell, afraid to let your emotions spill through the cracks.  Let me tell you that you cannot truly enjoy life, constantly trying to patch up the cracks.
I want to encourage you to break out of your shell.  Don’t worry about whether or not the egg yolk and whites spill out.  Allow others to see the real gift that lies inside of you.  Just like a little baby chick hatching from its shell, you can also blossom into a beautiful miracle.  God can take you out of your shell and give you the life you have always dreamed of living.  He’s a specialist when it comes to taking what’s broken and making it whole.  Don’t hide in your shell any longer; embrace a new life with Christ!
In Christ’s Love,


Easter.  The time of year when flowers begin to blossom, bunnies emerge as the number one pet, and ordinary white eggs are transformed into meticulous works of art.  Men, women, boys, and girls dress in their very best, often posing for Easter photographs before Sunday dinner, knowing that everyone may become a little disheveled after eating a bountiful holiday meal.  Children enjoy hunting for eggs that hold a multitude of treasures, secretly hidden by the Easter Bunny himself.  Parents’ eyes fill with delight as children sort through the goodies carefully chosen and displayed in a colorful basket filled with plastic “grass” in a rainbow of colors.  Many people will steal away for a quiet afternoon nap, having risen before daybreak to attend a sunrise service in their community.  Easter is a day for family, a day for rest, a day to remember what Christ did for you and me.  But I want to ask you, should Easter come just once a year?

On Easter, we remember what Christ did for us.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that we may have everlasting life.”  God gave the most precious gift that he could give to the world.  God did not wrap up His Son in a neat little package with a bow on top, expecting to receive a thank you card from the recipients.  The package was two pieces of wood nailed together to form a cross.  The bow was a crown of thorns pressed into His Son’s skull.  Instead of gratefulness for this most priceless gift, the only acknowledgement He received was the voices of the crowd who cried, “Crucify Him!”

Just imagine.  God sends His 33-year-old Son to die for a world that despises Him.  He watches intently as His little boy is nailed to a tree, enduring more pain and agony than any one person has ever felt at one time.  God looks down from Heaven as His Son’s side is pierced, blood profusely pouring out of the wound.  All the while, both Father and Son could have called ten thousand angels to stop the evildoers in their tracks.  But Jesus trusted His Father.  He knew that His Father would work all things together for His good.  And God knew that putting an end to His Son’s suffering would change nothing.  He knew His Son had to die.  He knew that this selfless gift would change everything.

Soon, Jesus proclaimed, “It is finished” (John 19:30 ESV).  For Jesus’ mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and his disciples, I am sure this seemed like the end.  Jesus was dead.  He was laid in a tomb.  The grave was the final stop along life’s journey.  For two days, Jesus’ family and friends visited His gravesite.  For two days, nothing changed.  But on the third day, everything changed.

For on the third day, the stone had been rolled away.  Two angels spoke to Mary Magdalene when she came to the see the place where Jesus’ body lay: “‘Woman, why are you weeping?’  She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’  Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’” (John 20:13-15 ESV).

Just imagine!  Jesus is speaking to Mary, yet she does not recognize Him.  Certainly, she does not even consider the possibility, seeing as He is supposed to be lying in the tomb.  She did not expect to see Jesus.  Like Mary Magdalene, we do not always expect extraordinary miracles to occur.  It’s almost as if we set our expectations too low.  We pray, yet do we really believe that God can heal someone who is battling cancer, provide deliverance for a hard core drug addict, or even raise someone from the dead?  When we pray, we need to remember that God is the one true and living God.  There is no problem that He cannot handle because He holds every solution.  God can do anything but fail.

God knew all along that Jesus would miraculously rise again on the third day.  He knew that His only Son must endure pain and suffering for a season and then emerge victorious.  Why?  So that you and I could receive the gift of eternal life.  This is what Easter is all about.  Why then, should Easter only be celebrated one day a year?  Jesus died for us and wants to live in our hearts forever, not just one Sunday each spring.  He wants you to have a personal relationship with Him, trusting Him, leaning on Him, and loving Him.  Jesus loves you 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  He has never stopped loving you and He will never stop loving you.

Have you asked Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life?  Do you have the assurance that you will live eternally?  If you have not done so, I want to encourage you to make this the moment when you put your trust in the God who created you.  Have faith in the God who gave His only Son just to give you the gift of eternal life.  Cling to the God who holds you in His heart and loves you more than you could ever imagine.  Begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Jesus loves you with a fervent love that has no end.  He wants you to live a joyous life filled with His enduring love, mercy, and grace.

Easter is a celebration of life, the Resurrected life of Christ and the Resurrected life of all who believe.  Life is something that should be celebrated every day, not just once a year.  This year, celebrate life.  Celebrate the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.  God does not want you to live a life overshadowed by sorrow, pain, or fear.  He wants you to live a life that is full of abundant joy, absolute love, and steadfast hope for a bright future in Heaven with Him.  This year, as you enjoy the chocolate bunnies, colorful decorations, and delicious dinners, remember to focus on the reason for this season: Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

In Christ's Love,