Ankles Deep In A Grave

A couple of days ago, I stood as a member of the congregation, celebrating the resurrection of Christ. There was a powerful force behind the singing that morning that was palpable. I was struck with their passion as I stopped singing a few times to just look around, see, and listen to the worship.

One thing that I began to chew on was this concept of an empty grave–that moment when the body comes alive, but hasn’t yet exited the tomb. At some point, you have to leave the tomb. You can’t just continue to sit there. It’s time to go out and live your new life.

And yet, while I know that I have been risen to new life in Christ, I so often feel like I’m still ankles deep in a grave. I’m not dead. But I’m stuck, unable to move, with my feet in the grave, while my head dreams of being elsewhere.

Of course, there are seasons of life where we are called to sit and wait. But we are never called to sit and wait in our graves. So how do we know the difference

1. We know that we are ankles deep in a grave when our stillness is due to fear.

It’s one thing to wait on God’s clear leading. But it’s another thing to just stay where you are out of fear of moving forward. If you can’t dream or explore the world because you are afraid, then you’re still standing in your grave.

2. We know that we are ankles deep in a grave when our excuses are filled with lies.

If you are standing still in life, then why are you standing still? If the answers do not align with the gospel, then you’re probably still standing in your grave. If your answers contain reasons that are antithetical to your relationship with your Father, then you’re still standing in your grave.

3. We know that we are ankles deep in a grave when we live in isolation.

One of the most obvious signs of living in a grave is being alone. Of course, we need our alone time. And there’s nothing wrong with being introverted. But if nobody really knows you, if nobody knows what it’s like to be loved and appreciated by you, if nobody knows what it’s like to laugh with you or tell stories with you, then you’re still standing in your grave.

4. We know that we are ankles deep in a grave when we no longer dream.

Dead bodies don’t dream. They lack the awareness of past, present, and future. They have no desires. They just waste away into dust. If you don’t think about your life with dreams, then you’re still standing in your grave.

5. We know that we are ankles deep in a grave when we no longer enjoy life.

I’ve read stories of people who were buried with their favorite food on their tongue, or drink in their hand. Of course we laugh at that. Dead bodies don’t taste and enjoy life at all, let alone to the fullest. But Christ came that we would have an abundant, full life. If you don’t enjoy living, if you shrug at the small things, then you’re still standing in your grave.

The beauty of Easter is that it draws us out of our graves. Because we are in Christ, we can walk out of our tombs as He did. We can touch others lives as He did. We can taste and see that God is good like He did. We are no longer dead. So let’s lift our ankles and live!

 

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