Wednesday, March 9, 2016

And Suddenly...Spring

"My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for
the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay
her young-- Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and My God.
Blessed are they who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. SELAH...
As they pass through the valley of Baca,
They make it a spring; The rain also covers
it with pools. They go from strength to strength...   Psalm 84: 2-4, 6, 7a

As I go from His strength to strength from one day to the next, suddenly I notice that once again we have made it through another winter. I will hang out laundry today in celebration. As I sat reading the Word this morning, I noticed a couple of little birds up in the rafters on the front porch. They are getting ready to have their family once again. No one told the birds that the world seems to be falling apart at the seams. They are doing what God appointed them to do. No one told them it was time to do it, they just knew it, because God gave them that wisdom.

One day last year my husband and I were walking up at the junior high and a couple of branches fell down from a beautiful white birch tree on the lawn. I arranged them together to make this cross. It was at a time when we were yet struggling through a long standing trial. Yet as I formed the cross, I reminded myself that as long as there are seasons, there is hope. For God promised us the seasons until the end of time.

God promised Noah after the great flood of the continuity of the seasons in Genesis 8:22 after Noah offered a sacrifice after the flood.

"While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease."

Though in my minuscule mind I cannot fathom how the world has managed not to destroy herself, I know that God is allowing the earth yet again to wake up from another winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. And as long as the earth remains, He will give me the strength for yet another day. Just like the Israelites had to gather manna every single day, I gather my "manna" for the day as I start it with coffee and the Word.

Sometimes the words just float on past my brain and I realize I have been thinking of something else altogether. I then go back and look at the passage again. Sometimes I realize that reading the Word, or hearing it taught, for that matter, is like having a spaghetti battle. You get what sticks to you. (I was given that expression many years ago when I wasn't sure how much of the Word I was retaining. I think it's a good analogy.)

So it is that we also have seasons in our life, too. I remember the earliest seasons, and all the anxiety I had as I grew into a young woman and tried to find my place in the world. Then the season of motherhood, with the feeling of being overwhelmed in trying to find a way to be a decent mother to three kids who needed me. I did not realize it at the time, but it turns out it seems that was a short season that I had young ones under my feet. How quickly they all sprouted from the nest. And now, I am in a blessed season as grandchildren are the light of my life. I can look at them a bit differently than I did my own children, because I know now how quickly they will grow up. But it is also a season of helping to care for my elderly parents, and not knowing what the future will hold in terms of them needing me.

It is easy for me to take on the role of "parent" in some ways as I see life becoming overwhelming for my mother. But I remember I will be the next one in her shoes. At life's end, it can be a struggle to face the winter season of one's life. I just hope that my memory will hold as much of the Word as it can to get my own self through my winter season, if the Lord should tarry that long.

But, in all these thoughts about seasons, it is comforting to know that the Lord only wants us to trust Him for each single day He gives us. I don't quite think He is into ten year plans and five year plans, though I could be wrong on that. I just know He says:

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." (Matthew 6:34, NLT)

And so, as the eternal, endless Day approaches, I anticipate a future with no more night, no more curse, no more death, no more pain. And it is all because of the great gift of Jesus taking all my sins to His body that spring day so many years ago.

If you are not sure you have eternal life, believe the testimony God gives us of His Son:

"For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NLT)

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