I know it is a few days late but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter. After all, it is probably one of the biggest cruxes of our faith that Jesus did not stay in the tomb but rather He arose to proclaim His glory. About this time some two thousand years ago, I would imagine there was an incredible buzz around Jerusalem. Everybody was talking about Jesus, how he had been crucified, but more importantly, how he had conquered death and fulfilled a promise. The place must have been going crazy... Much different than what is going on today. Easter is seemingly the one time out of the year that most people pause, in between biting the head off their hollow chocolate bunnies, just long enough to recognize what this man really did. And then a few days later it is forgotten till next year when the stores once again stock up on colored "easter" eggs and chocolate bunnies. (On a side note, where did all of that come from?) Now don't get me wrong, I am all for hollow bunnies, seeing kids search with crazy competetive spirit for plastic eggs, and over-sized Hershey kisses, but I think we as a culture forget the real importance of Easter far to soon. Maybe something practical would be to remember in your own life why you are thankful that Jesus is alive.
Why I am thankful that He is alive may be a little obvious to you. But for those of you that are reading this for the first time, I will give you a brief background on the past year.
Last year on Feb. 19th, my girlfriend called 911 and I was rushed to the hospital. The doctors had a hard time figuring out what was wrong with me because my blood levels were extremely low and my toxin levels were off the charts. After some tests, which included one that located only one kidney, they diagnosed me with accute renal failure with congestive heart failure and severe anemia. Basically my kidney, the only one I was born with, had failed and because of excess fluid building up around the heart, it was working overtime causing severe chest pains and labored breathing. After spending a week in the hospital, I returned home and began what became a nine month dialysis routine of four hours three times a week. During this time we were actively searching for a kidney donor and it turned out that after months of testing, my dad was the best match. So on December 2nd, my dad and I went into the hospital for transplant surgery. We are now both doing very well physically and have grown tremendously through this experience.
What I left out of that brief history was the best and most imortant part of the whole experience. You see, after I graduated from Biola in 2004, I fell into a bit of a post college funk. It seemed as if I could not get started with my life. I didn't understand what was going on. So my prayers were full of questions about what God wanted to do with my life. Sure I had some desires but soon realized that the most important thing was what God wanted to do Through me. And that is what my prayer change to. I began asking God to use me in "any way" for His glory, you know, the way a carpenter uses specific tools for there intended purposes. What I didn't anticipate was God's literal answer to my prayer. I wasn't saying, "Please God, make me have kidney failure and endure this long process so you can have the glory" but I was asking Him to use me in "any way". To be real honest, that is exactly what He has done in a variety of ways.
One way in particular is happening tomorrow evening. My dad and I are going to be interviewed on the Frank Pastore show around 5:45 on 99.5fm KKLA. The cool thing about these type of experiences is that it is an opportunity for God to be glorified. A direct answer to my prayer. It is not just these public venues that He has orchestrated. I have had some really cool conversations with people about my experience and how I have grown in my thankfulness and trust in the Lord. I mentioned earlier about how the buzz in Jerusalem was full of talks about the resurection and the fulfillment of His promise. This is one area that I am thankful to experience on this level; His promise to answer our prayers.
One last thing that I wanted to mention was an important event coming up later this April. On Saturday, April 28th, CSUF will host the annual Donate Life 5k Run/Walk & Family Festival. This is an event "To celebrate the gift of life and inspire people to donate life." As you can imagine, I am excited about my new gift of life and my dad is excited about the opportunity he had to give that gift. So we are definitely going to be participating in this event. We have created a team and would like to ask any of you who would like to participate with us to join our team. All of the registration info can be found on their website at www.donatelifeoc.org. The direct link is on the left. Also because we have created a team, it will be cheaper to register as part of our team.
What you need to do is register online: www.donatelifeoc.org
Click "Join a Donor or Recipient Family"
Team Name: "NATE'S CREW"
and then if you could e-mail us afterward at email@example.com so we know that you registered.
I have a bunch of fliers about the event if you want one of those. Just let me know. This should be a lot of fun and we would love to see all of you out there. It is also a great time and place to learn more about organ, eye, and tissue donations.
Until next time, I hope that you all take time to look back at why you are thankful that Jesus is alive. What has He done in your life today to make His presence known, are you allowing Him to?
Labels: Easter Thankfulness