Tag Archives: spring

New Life

Last fall, a friend from church gifted us with two giant peony bushes.

It was a lovely, heartfelt gesture and we were very grateful.

I was certain that I would kill them.

I do not have a green thumb.

I do not even have a brown thumb.

I have a black thumb. I have never been able to keep anything alive, even a plant that is supposedly hard to kill, like a cactus.

Hoping that this time would be different, I spoke to friends who knew about gardening. I scoured the Internet for tips.

And finally the day came when I took a deep breath, pulled the bushes out of their pots and planted them in our front yard.

The kids tried hard not to laugh at my hopeful comment about seeing the  bushes bloom once spring arrived. They knew my track record all too well.

A couple of weeks ago, my son sadly announced that the  bushes were dead, that there was no way they would bloom.

He beckoned for me to follow him outside and sure enough, the bushes looked like they had been run over with a steamroller. They were totally flat, one-dimensional, and colorless.

My face fell. The black thumb had struck again.

But then…

On my way out to the car one morning, this is what I saw:


I couldn’t  believe it! The bushes were not dead after all!

I was elated.

This is what they look like  today:

What I thought was hopeless and dead was actually alive and thriving!

There was more evidence of spring around our yard, as gray and brown give way to pink and red and green:

What was bare is now becoming full.

What was dormant through the long hard winter is now beginning to blossom.

What looked dead is in reality alive and thriving.

The spiritual lesson was not lost on me.

There are those winter seasons in all our lives when it looks as if nothing is happening. We see no signs of life or hope or light.

We are tempted to think that God has forgotten us, that His plans will never come to fruition, that He is not doing anything about our situation.

But that is a lie.

Spring always comes.

New life bursts forth in beauty and light.

The gray gives way to brilliant color.

Life was there all along.

“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”–Virgil Kraft


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Spring Is Coming!

We are getting a snowstorm in my part of the country today.

Schools are closed.  The winds are whipping across our yard, causing the snow to swirl upward into spirals, a delightful wintry dance.  The skies are gray and the colors of spring and summer are hidden underneath a blanket of white.

As much as I can appreciate the stark beauty of winter, I dearly love spring and summer and eagerly await their radiant return each year.

There are some seasons in life that cause us to feel that winter is here to stay forever. We can begin to despair of ever again feeling the warmth of the sun.

God seems hidden.

We may feel inside what winter trees look like:  the 0nce  full, thriving, flowering, green trees now appear to be bare, brittle, cold, and  lifeless.

C.S. Lewis perfectly captured this feeling in the The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe when he described Narnia under the cruel reign of the  white witch: “It’s always winter but never Christmas.”

I felt like that last spring. I was one year into a very tough season with no end in sight. To be honest, I felt totally exhausted, discouraged, and drained.  I was scared. I had very few answers and at least a million questions. With everything in me, I wanted this season to be over! I longed for happier, more carefree days. I felt like my life was on “pause” and if I could only release that pause button, my life could truly begin again in earnest.

That, however, is a faulty assumption. That is living by sight and not by  faith. There is life to be found, even in the pause.

That April, Jesus, the very Creator and Sustainer of life, the very One who came to give us life in all its fullness ( Colossians 1: 16; John 10:10),  broke into my gray days in a most wonderful way. He arranged for me to hear the same  beautiful Scripture five times in just three days, all  from different sources: “Arise, My beautiful one and come with Me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come!” —Song of Songs, 2:10-11.

On the morning of April 17th, I opened my love letter (the Bible) to see what Jesus had to say to me that morning. I almost fell off the chair when I saw that Song of Songs 2:10-11 was part of my directed reading for that day!!! (I was using a ‘read through the Bible in a year’ plan).

In her book The God of All Comfort: Finding Your Way Into His Arms author Dee Brestin writes, “When we see something new (while reading the Bible)—something that has always been there, but which now, the Spirit reveals to us—we are being touched by Almighty God, we are being ‘kissed by the King’, we are being quickened by the One who raised  Jesus from the dead!”  (Earlier in the book, Dee noted that “a kiss from the King according to rabbinic tradition, is a living word from God.”).

I had just been kissed by the King. That was now the sixth time He was showing me that Scripture in a very short amount of time. Joy suffused my soul as if the sun had suddenly broken through the clouds.

I looked  up from my Bible to take in the view from my picture window…and saw a coating of snow! The calendar said it was spring…but it sure looked like winter outside.

The spiritual lesson was not lost on me. When  I looked outside, I saw snow, gray skies, and bare branches. It was undoubtedly a winter scene.

YET…the calendar definitively declared that spring had arrived! Which would I choose to believe: what my eyes could see or what the calendar said?

Jesus was giving me a promise:  a new season is on its way! Would I choose to cling to His promise and trust Him for what I cannot see (which is the essence of faith?). Or…would I focus only on my difficult circumstances and let that eclipse His promise?

I chose to believe His Word.

Jesus is ALWAYS true to His Word.

Just thirteen days later, He performed a miracle in our situation, one that left us stunned with wonder and feeling dearly loved and cherished.

As God’s own, we ARE always  dearly loved and cherished…even during the long gray days of winter.

If today finds you in a winter season, stay in the Word. It is your lifeline. Claim His promises of tender love and care for you. He is always at work, even when we can’t see it. He will always prove faithful.

Granted, His timetable differs from ours most of the time…but He knows what He is doing.  As my friend Claire reminded us at Bible study last night, “He paints on a canvas bigger than we can see.”

Winter may be here…but spring is just around the corner!

Expect hope to be rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons of life do not last. —Sarah Ban Breathrach


Filed under Devotions