Somewhere underneath the soil in our backyard are spring bulbs. Soft yellow daffodils and bright red tulips that will bloom and bring spring beauty. I know they are there because I planted them myself. And I was very careful. I followed the directions on the back of the package and planted at just the right time for our area—and even used a ruler to measure the precise depth of each bulb! It’s a guarantee that before long I’ll have lovely flowers to enjoy.
But off and on throughout the winter, I’ve wondered if the bulbs will actually sprout and push through the soil to grow tall and bloom. I’ve watched as rain pelted the soil, as heavy snow weighed down the earth, and as a sheet of ice formed on top. I’ve often mulled over how something lying dormant in the soil could survive the elements to bloom into a beautiful flower.
Every so often I walk out back to see if there’s any sign of a shoot, but I only see dirt. Just brown dirt. It definitely takes a bit of faith to plant bulbs in the fall and expect that months later they’ll mature enough to push through the soil and bloom.
Waiting for spring flowers to come up is not unlike waiting for the resurrection. Maybe you have a loved one buried somewhere underneath. You know they are there because you chose the site and watched as their casket was slowly lowered into the ground before it was covered with dirt. Perhaps you’ve visited that grave when it’s been raining, or when snow and ice have covered the ground. Sometimes it might seem surreal that the one you love is really beneath that ground. And you might at times catch yourself being tempted to doubt that you’ll ever see them again.
Well there is a guarantee. It doesn’t come from the back of a package, but from God’s word—the Bible. There are many texts that promise that the dead will be resurrected. One that often gets passed by is Isaiah 26:10 which says, “…the earth shall cast out the dead.” I love the strength in this text. To cast something means to throw it with force. The resurrection of the dead will be a powerful experience because a God strong enough to conquer death will burst graves open!
In the meantime, we wait. We visit the graves of those we love. We both ache to see them again and yet remember the good times with a smile.
And we hope.
Most of all we hope.
Because somewhere underneath they wait for Jesus to call them out of the ground and into eternal life.
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