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Already and Not Yet

The Already and the Not Yet

By:  Lianne Johnson, LPC

I was out walking one day when I saw this tree.  I was immediately struck by how the tree appeared to be both alive and flourishing, as well as dead.  Half alive and half dead.  Can you see it?  The left side of the tree is green, while the right side is dark and displaying what I am calling deadness.

“Wow,” I thought to myself, “this is how I feel.  Regularly.”

As you can see, the caption I wrote under the picture is – The Already and the Not Yet.  For those of you who are Christians reading this, you may be familiar with this phrase.  The Already:  We are made alive by Christ’s death (His act to save us from ourselves), which gives us our aliveness, our life.  The Not Yet:  We live in a broken world where we see and experience suffering. We live in the “in between time” from Christ’s death on the cross and until his return when everything will be made right.

This tree is displaying our internal reality as well.  We are alive in Christ, yet daily we live and struggle with the pain and toil of our day.

It was good for me to see this tree.  It was good for my heart and mind to be reminded that Christ has made me ALIVE.  It was good for me to remember that while the “dead” part (the pain and heartache of today) will remain a part of my daily reality until Christ returns, I am also ALIVE.  It was good for me to remember that Christ has conquered death.