I should have clearly seen the set up. I get home from a warm vacation in the middle of an Alaskan winter itching for spring. It ruins me to the point of buying a few new pieces of greenery and a bouquet of fresh flowers, if spring won’t come yet, I will make it come. I’m ready for change, for spring, for the promise of hope and new life. I muse over the fact that God created seasons because He loves creating something new. Nothing in him is stagnant. Always motion. Always creation. Always new life, even in the dormant winter.
The moment arrives when I am smacked with the reality that spring literally means change: to rise, to leap, move or act suddenly and swiftly, as by a sudden dart or thrust forward or outward, or being suddenly release from a coiled or constrained position. In my finite mind I picture green grass, tulips, buds on the trees, geese honking as they create meandering Vs throughout the sky’s highways, but not things shifting, relationships meandering, circumstances flipping, the reality of the future looking completely different than what I had imagined. I meant warmth, flowers, leaves on the trees, not CHANGE. But lives frozen away in winter dormancy begin to awaken to their calling and destiny. Buds bring new life, new life ushers in change. The things we counted on as constant are being uprooted and planted in new places.
When it comes right down for it, we want the benefits of spring, but don’t want to pay the price that affords the change. A symptom looming in our culture that is easy to thread it’s reasoning into our very own thoughts. And so we settle for instant gratification or ever-popular numbing mechanisms, suffocating the need for growth before reaching maturity. But if a flower bloomed mid-winter, it would die. Only in God’s perfect seasons do we have the grace released to enable growth, maturity, and fruitfulness.
I decorate the house with hints of spring. In our bathroom I change up the shelf with a small bottle made vase full of pussy willows – the furry buds that hint of spring to come. I add splashes of color with pottery, beautifully blue painted Armenian pottery my mom bought me in Jerusalem ten years ago. I go in the bathroom and smile with the stark contrast of bold colors, pottery representing another world, another culture, and pussy willows, a promise of something new held in the bud vase. Then as I am sitting, writing about spring, about change, I hear crashing, clamoring, pottery being broken into dozens of pieces. Why couldn’t it have been the replaceable bud glass vase with pussy willows instead?
Why questions never solve the riddle of a heart trying to make sense in an ever-changing world. Always the shifting of seasons bring change. Circumstances shift, things we value and delight in can be shattered and ruined. But in the midst of that the thing that remains is the promise new life and hope.
God never stops creating. He never stops the earth from spinning, for if He did, we would not be held in place. The world He created, ever movement, ever shifting, ever changing and yet, He never changes. We may not approve of the shifting, meandering world around us, seasons that consistently produce change, however in that place “the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the world of the Lord stands forever.”
Without the change we would never get to see the evidence of God’s Word producing fruit, of fulfilling what He said he would do. We can kick and scream, or in more estrogen-impacted terms, our eyes can become red volcanoes bearing tear-laden-lava producing mascara black rivers down our cheeks. (Not that I would know anything about that). But, “as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isa. 55:10-11)
I am ready for spring and all that it entails. I may not like all of it, but that doesn’t mean it all cannot become a product of His good, used for His glory. There were days I carried a sample sized tube of mascara everywhere. It’s still in my coat pocket, my fingers fumble over the small tube, reminding me of my short-sidedness. Reminding me that change invokes the passage for His Words to be made true.
May you be richly blessed,