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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.
I first came across How to Live in Fear–Mastering the Art of Freaking Out in a Christian bookstore. I thought that was a little strange, with a title like that. “Fear” and “Christian” don’t go together. But the longer I leafed through the pages, the more I realized the title fit perfectly with the theme: being able to live with faith in God while having anxiety/panic attacks.
Pastor Lance Hahn has experienced severe anxiety attacks since boyhood. For a few years the attacks left, then they came roaring back into his life. He describes what it’s like to be a Christian, and the senior pastor of a large church–a pastor who suffers from panic attacks. Continue reading
“…the women…found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:1-3) (NIV)
Although I didn’t go to church often when I was growing up, I knew Easter Sunday was the day Christ rose from the grave. I didn’t connect that fact to anything else in my life–it was just a “religious fact”. Christ came; He died; He rose. The tomb is empty. That’s good–but what’s that mean?
Years later, that empty tomb–that knowledge I have by faith–gives me hope. The empty tomb gives me hope because Christ was (and is) too big to be held by it. If He is too big for that, He is certainly big enough to handle any and all of the problems I have now or ever will have. He is not at all bothered by any of my problems. He is not fretting about what to do. He has it under control!
The empty tomb gives me hope because it means Christ is living. If He is living, I can reach Him through prayer. I have access to all His comfort, all His kindness, all His understanding of me. He can give guidance, ease my fears, cancel my worries.
That is what the empty tomb means to me now. It takes faith.
And he (Jesus) said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27) KJV
Today Christians celebrate Easter Sunday, also called Resurrection Sunday, because Jesus the Messiah arose from the dead on this day over 2000 years ago.
For me, the spring bulbs that come up every year are among the proofs God offers for belief in Jesus’ Resurrection.
The first time I took the dirty brown crocus, daffodil, hyacinth and tulip bulbs out of the bags I thought, “You mean I’m supposed to plant these; they’re dead!” But you know what–the following spring beautiful colors emerged from the soil where those dead bulbs lay. Every year, the flowers come up. God enables life and beauty to sprout from death.
Hyacinths all in a row
Daffodils–sunshine in flowers!
In the same way God enables life and beauty to come into our lives and then from our lives as we are in relationship with Him. For many years I lived without hope that life is truly worth while. Now I realize that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection there is hope and there is possibility.
If you are wondering if life is really worth while, I urge you to consider the cross and the empty tomb. Cry out to God Who loved you enough to die for you and then three days later, create a miracle and rise for you. Dare to believe He did the impossible then, and He’ll do it now. It takes faith.