This week’s devotionals are written by hospice chaplain April Knoke and can be found in the YouVersion reading plan, “Out of Death’s Shadow.”
When people ask me why I chose a career that deals with death on a regular basis, I tell them it’s simple. God took the toughest parts of my life, buried them, and brought something beautiful out of them.
Have you ever felt buried, like you’re facing complete darkness? Something critical may have happened and stress points got so high that you felt as though you couldn’t go on—like you weren’t going to make it. I’ve heard Christine Caine say, “Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.”
When Christ was buried, He took all of our sin and shame with him. That is why we can live free now, but we have to acknowledge that fact. The enemy comes to bury us under guilt, shame, bitterness, and the like. But just as Christ took all of that on Himself to give us a good life, God can turn that evil into a planting. It is like a seed planted in the sticky mud in the dark that looks like it has no hope. Little does it know that the sunlight and the water it is receiving will eventually allow it to reach out of that dark place.
Life sometimes feels like it is burying us with all of the burdens and stresses that come. Those are the time God’s hand reaches down and pulls us up, growing us, literally and figuratively. All we have to do is keep doing what we know is right and reach up and grasp his outstretched hand. His hand will always be there for us and will never let go. We all have those dark moments, which is why we must take time to grow in God. We must understand who He is and what He says about us.
Sounds crazy, I know, but I’ve seen it happen in my own life. I’ve been through the darkness of my parents divorcing on the mission field and my own divorce years later. I felt buried. I had every reason not to believe something good would come out of those times. Yet I remembered that darkness always turns to light; it has to. Darkness is simply the absence of light. Then the morning comes, as it always will. Darkness cannot stay forever; it has to go some time. It is at that point that your little seedling will finally peak its way above the ground, poking its head out after all of the time in darkness. In the sunlight it’s ready to grow into a beautiful creation for all to see and enjoy the fruit, the creation it was meant for.
How about we bury the negative things that are holding us down in the richness of who Christ has made us? (Our good soil.) Let Him transform us so we can come out, shake off the lies of the enemy, and go towards the light. Just like that seed in the good soil, Christ has taken the old, dead-looking parts of our lives and created us together with Him to live and produce fruit, not only for ourselves but for others to enjoy as well. Let’s grow in God and live the life Christ died and was buried to give us!