It should have been dead. Broken and shredded by fierce tornado winds that ripped
through our town, the tree was then reduced by a chain saw to an unsightly stump. It certainly looked dead squatting there in front of the equally lifeless shell that had been our hospital. For weeks it looked dead. But something unseen was happening. While we were busy repairing and rebuilding, the tree was busy, too. It sprouted tiny buds and, day by day, new branches unfolded fresh leaves. What seemed dead still lived. This COVID 19 crisis is not our first scary situation. It won’t be our last. We’ve weathered tornados and hurricanes, floods and falling stock markets. We will weather this, too. While we figure out how to move forward, unseen things will be happening. Good things. God things. The Creator who put life in that tree can breathe new life into any person or relationship. He’s proven that. For three days, Jesus lay dead. His followers were at a loss for what to do next – much like we are as we sit at home wondering what to do, unsure of what comes next. But God rekindled life in Jesus and raised him from the grave. Now, he offers to do the same for us and to unleash that same life-giving power in our lives. When things look bleak, when it feels like life as we know it may be over, remember that power. Power to bring life from death and bring calm in crisis. There is always hope. Always! Paul’s prayer for Christians was that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, . . . and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:18-20). Read that again! The same power that returned life to the lifeless body of Jesus is promised to his followers. We can always have hope because of “him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (3:20). It should have been dead. That could have been said of the body of Jesus as easily as it was of a beat up, sawn-off stump. It could be said of countless lives and relationships. But the tree still lives. Jesus still lives. So may we all.