Living is Dying

man with arms opened way

I have been overwhelmed by the love coming through so many people in the last few weeks; it is humbling and beautiful.  Through these varied and heartfelt encouragements, I’ve had a brand new view of this Christian life.  Living is dying, and dying is living.

My life before Christ didn’t hold the possibility of internal change.  When I got restless, it was time to move or change jobs or meet new people or find new hobbies.  I had to change the external because I had no reason to believe that I could ever be fundamentally different.  I believed, with my whole heart, that people don’t really change.  Not ever.

Also, I didn’t see any real reason why someone would want to be a Christian.  It looked dull and tedious and fake.  If my life was stuck in an auto-loop of sameness on the inside, I couldn’t imagine limiting my external options to the kiddie rides in life’s amusement park.  No thanks and keep the fish stickers!  It was this vision of inescapable sameness that induced utter despair in me.  I couldn’t see anything bigger or higher or unbounded by life’s dreary limits.

But what I’m glimpsing for the first time, through this Cross, is the perpetual change of life with Christ.  It’s unbelievable!  Every time I embrace the Cross, I die.  And every time I die, I begin to live anew.  Life resurrected into a whole new state of being from the ashes of what I died to when the Cross came.  I am no longer the same.

I have always understood adventure as an external event.  But though this change affects the external, it operates entirely within me.  Resurrection life is no longer just an idea or platitude or theory.  After every Cross encounter, I am changed.  I see differently, I think differently, and I relate to my life differently.  Sometimes I love things that I never loved before, and sometimes I have no interest in things that were once very important to me.  My world may be the same, but I am not and that changes everything.

Of course, change is very hard for me right now.  Sometimes I sit down and cry because I just don’t know how to handle the latest upheaval in my life.  But I begin to see this life of the Cross as the training needed to move as the Spirit wills.  I am not naturally flexible, but God is breaking my stiffness and pushing me outside my hobbit hole.  I’ll be flexible yet!

I find myself rather jubilant at the thought of tomorrow and what it may bring.  My life is an adventure, and every day I see this amazing world in new light.  God’s light.  I haven’t been bored in two years and two months.  Not since I met Jesus Christ and started to live dead.

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    • Sam

      How well put, sister. Thank you again for expressing this Life under such light and simpleness.

      Really, you are much loved.

    • Andrea

      you are so refreshing Jennifer … such a beautiful jewel …
      thank you so much for sharing your journey with us …. it will be a terrific pleasure to meet you one day ..

    • Sharon

      Oh Jennifer isn’t the Lord so faithful! A lovely Christian, who would later become my mentor told me a story about an ox named Trainer. Now trainer was an older experienced ox. They would always put a younger ox with Trainer who knew the path and would not go to the left or the right. Now a young ox would always struggle with the yoke and he would try to go to the left and then he would pull to the right and it would cause pain however Trainer continued to walk straight on the path. Soon the young oxen found that if he would walk with Trainer there was no pain and the yolk was light. Now you have probably figured Trainer was the Holy Spirit. The yolk was Jesus’s Yolk that he says is light and the path was the narrow way to God. That story stuck with me for over 20 years and when I feel the burden I know I’m trying to go my own way so I get back under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Hope this story of Trainer will be a Blessing to you!!!

    • Tina

      There is great joy as the body of Christ walks together through the reality of His Kingdom. “Bearing with one another, forgiving one another, loving one another…Love never fails”. My greatest excitement in life are the intricate ways of God moving among His children to bring life from death! I absolutely love Him! I want to be known and make Him known~ !!

      • Tina

        That should read, “I want to be known by Him and make Him known”.

    • Susan Little

      You got it sist’a! This walk is exciting and definitely not for the faint of heart. And it’s His work…
      Love your writing.

    • Barb

      I like you vulnerability. Thanks for sharing.

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