Tuesday, April 15, 2014

spring always follows winter

Take a look at this photo. What do you see? 

What did you notice first: the vibrant, lively pop of yellow and deep green of the daffodils? Was it the fruitless, skeletal tree branches casting an eerie shadow on the wooden fence? Maybe you saw the dry pine straw peppered with crackly leaves leftover from a previous season?

This picture was taken in early spring, it was March. The temperature was 49 degrees that day. Obviously spring was coming but there were still remnants of the previous season. I call it in-between seasons.  And it's just like God, the Creator of all things, to insist that the daffodils break through the soil while the temperatures are still in the 40's and 50's. It is God who decides when the seasons begin and end. 

That's how He deals with us. We all know what it feels like to have our own personal winter. It's can be an overwhelming season of a breakup, a breakdown, disappointment, loss, pain, sickness, grief, frustration or ongoing discouragement. We feel the chill of loneliness because we hurt and we decide to cut ourselves off from others. It's a mistake to do that because we are the Body of Christ, but sometimes we let our winters take over and we decide to wrap ourselves in the harsh, unrelenting, ongoing ice storms of life.We don't run to God for comfort and help.We run to worthless things. Idols that don't love us back.

We shudder in our winter season because at times life is hard, and we forget that spring is coming. God promises "...weeping may remain for a night but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5) and "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy..." (Psalm 30:11).

Yes! Life can be hard! Yes, for Christians, too. But we know we have a Lord and Savior who controls the seasons of life and the seasons of each of our lives. We look to our Creator who invites us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

And our lives are filled with joy, too, knowing that spring is coming for each one of us! "'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hop and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you"'( Jeremiah 29:11-12).

Grace, one of our daughters, left the Atlanta area to go shine for Jesus in the Los Angeles area. Her goal was to serve as a worship leader in a church and then work into appearing in shows in Hollywood.  She has lived there for seven years, appeared in 80 or so TV shows as a background actor, and  performed in musical theater. She has faithfully persevered in making connections and shining radiantly in the darkness there. After seven years, Grace was hired as a worship leader (she has a MA in Worship Arts). She's blossoming as she chooses the worship music each week, creatively arranges music, invites other musicians to join her team and sing for the glory of God. It has happened. And she is shining in her musical gifts. She's been like those daffodils.

We have to be like those daffodils. God commanded them to push through that cold hard soil and blossom and be fruitful and beautiful with who they are!  They had to break through and persevere through the harsh ever-changing weather.  It was their time to burst forth and glorify Him in their new season!

He's saying that to all of us. 

psalm 34:3

Copyright 2014 Totally Devoted 4
Copyright 2014 Photo by Polly Balint, Totally Devoted 4