Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Monday, April 28

Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, rise!"
—Luke 7:14

Imagine the awe and wonder of watching a dead person rise from a coffin. It seems an event so spectacular it belongs only in the annals of Hollywood. Because we experience death as a final event, we can't imagine that it could be undone.

We are like Martha when she had lost her brother in death. Jesus asked her if she believed in resurrection and her answer was,"Yes, Lord, I believe he will rise at the last day." It was not within the realm of possibilities for Martha that Jesus had the power to restore her brother's life right then and there. Physical resurrection may not be a regular, usual, normal experience in our lives, but neither is it completely out of the realm of possibilities. But, what is even more powerful and palpable about Jesus' words, "Young man, I say to you, rise!" is that the words are addressed to us right now.

How often do we live lifeless through our days—as if we were already resting in a coffin for eternity? We don't allow the world of nature to take away our breath, or the moments of grace to catch us by surprise, or the uninteresting daily activities to become the ground of our learning. We are content to take life lying down and wonder why the days pass so quickly without our feeling any excitement.

Jesus says to us, "Rise!" And in just the moment that we open the ears of our soul wide enough to hear those words, the ashen look on our faces begins to color, our heart pumps anew, our feet want to dance, and we realize we have climbed out of our coffin to greet the world of the living once again.

O God, stop my bier as it passes by you, and in the passion so characteristic of life, call me to rise.

The Signposts for April are written by Renée Miller and originally appeared on in May 2004.