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December 24, 2012

As anyone who has lost someone special can attest, each passing year, and each celebration marks a little bit more dying. Dying to the opportunity to be with the one you loved, dying to the life you thought you would have, dying to your role in the life that was taken away from you.

What is dying like? It is really scary. You know the scenes in the movies when someone is dangling over an edge holding on to something and they are slipping. The last thing they want to do is let go and die, but there is a point where they realize it is going to happen. It is frightening, disconcerting, and submitting to it runs contrary to the life force within us.

But, there is also a release that comes with submitting to death. Getting pinned. Pinned by God. Stopping the wrestling, the wrangling, the flailing. There is a peace, a silence, a sense of spaciousness. There is an opening, a clearing that appears in life that is pregnant with possibility.

For every season of crops that must die for the harvest, there is a fall, winter, and spring which gives rise to new life. Death provides opportunity for new life. It is, in fact, a prerequisite for new life.

No farmer cuts down a field of healthy crop simply for the purpose of planting anew. That would be foolish. But it is a byproduct nonetheless. And new life beckons, it demands a rebirth. Either the field will fill with corn, or wheat, or soybeans, or it will fill with weeds. Nature abhors a vacuum, and emptiness isn’t an equilibrium state.

Isn’t that what we are anyway? We, as creatures made by God, are, at our very essence, empty vessels. We have nothing to offer an omnipotent God, who exists outside of time, who has created the air and the landscape around us. We are designed, and we are put here on earth for a specific purpose… to receive. We are the bride of Christ. We are here because God enjoys giving to us, filling us, blessing us, loving us.

So go to sleep tonight with the hope and the expectation of God’s pouring. The pitcher is moving towards you, the cup, and tomorrow morning marks the day when creation held its breath, and watched Him do it for real.

Not for merit, not for pity, not for any purpose other than the delight of His heart, and a satisfaction of His nature of love. Receive the lamb of God tomorrow, from the ultimate giver, who came to love and to save.

From → Stories

  1. Meredith West permalink


  2. Linda Fowler permalink

    Merry Christmas to all of you! Loved the Christmas card. Thanks for thinking of us. I love your writings. You have a very special gift.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. This is so beautiful, Todd. Thank you. Thank you. Merry Christmas.

  4. Beautifully written. Thank you for the reminder of His goodness.

  5. Carolyn permalink

    Wondering why I hate “dying” and “death” so much as I read your post. It physically makes me cringe inside myself as I read what you wrote. You are so right though. Are we meant to cringe at death b/c we were not meant to experience it or is it that I cringe b/c I am too attached to the things I don’t want to let go of…..?

  6. Nancy Teague permalink

    Your words never cease to inspire me. Happy Holidays to your beautiful family.

  7. Elizabeth Stetson Gaylord permalink

    todd this is amazing. thank you

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