April 7, 2012
I just watched an Easter movie with my kids. It was not an Easter film in any traditional sense, but it certainly dealt with the theme of resurrection. It is called “Soul Surfer” and is the true story of a girl who competitively surfs named Bethany Hamilton who has her arm eaten off by a shark and yet not only fully recovers but goes on to become a professional surfer with just one arm. It is a wonderful story because when she is struggling with her physical recovery she remains steadfast in her faith. As she struggles to decide if she has it in her to return to competitive surfing she goes on a mission trip to Thailand under the advice and leadership of her youth pastor. In connection with World Vision she serves those who were devastated by a tsunami and helps children there regain their faith in a normal life, while finding that she has that same faith as well.
In short, she is born again. Her entire life is resurrected. She is transformed from a girl who lost 60% of her blood volume and was in shock riding to the hospital on a surf board in the back of a pick-up truck to a poised young woman who understands what it means to give hope to others. God brought her back from the (nearly) dead and gives her the opportunity to embrace the world in a whole new way. She is strong and she perseveres.
God has resurrected most of our lives at some time or another. We have all struggled, maybe not with tragedies or limitations that glamorous, but tragedies and limitations none-the-less. Tomorrow we celebrate Easter once again, reminding ourselves that resurrection is real. God can and does transform. We may not walk out of a tomb three days after crucifixion or become one-armed professional surfers but we have been transformed. What is even more miraculous is that transformation will continue to occur in our lives until ultimately we are resurrected in the full, heavenly, life-after-death sense and exist for eternity in the loving company of God.
Resurrection is both now and then. It is the miracle that we survive all of the things that we do and it is the promise that we will survive much more. We will come out in the end victors even over death. We hold such astounding promises from God, and Easter reminds us that those promises are true. We will walk in the light not only as we celebrate our victories here on earth, but also as we walk in the heavenly light of complete union with God.