Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Not A Fan of Spring

Last Friday, at precisely 6:45pm, spring arrived!

As I walked out of my house, headed down my walkway to my car, I saw abandoned sleds in the yard, deserted sticks that long ago had been made into swords by creative children, dried up dog droppings, filthy, muddy snow, sand and salt covered walkways, bare trees and all other sorts of ugliness.

I thought, "This is why I don't like spring.  
Spring is ugly.  
Spring is dirty.  
Spring is down right not pretty."

I've never much cared for spring.  It constantly teases us to hope for more.  It constantly disappoints. Just when we think the warmer temperatures are here to stay, we awake to bone-chilling cold - yet again!  The ups and downs of spring test our patience time and time again.

Spring is not a pretty season.  It arrives when the land (in my neck of the woods, anyway) is still mostly covered by snow, most of it dirty, pithy and icy.  There are no blades of grass apparent, no flowers yet poking through the hard packed snow.  The temperature is still working hard to even reach 40 degrees.  The wind is howling and snow is still in the forecast!!!  This is Spring????

All the beauty of the white, fluffy snow has long disappeared and what is left is dirty, dusty, gray masses along the side of the roads and in our yards. It starts to melt, finally, and what is underneath is no better.  Brown, barren earth is even uglier than the dirty snow, if that is possible.  And all the "mess" that we neglected to clean up in our yards during the fall is now laid bare for all to see and looks worse than it did before.  The tree branches are still bare, no color seen anywhere and the days turn from gray to grayer.

You really have to have faith to believe that this ugly mess can turn into summer beauty.  You really have to have faith to be able to have hope that the beauty is surely just beneath all the ugliness.  But before the summer beauty appears, we have to endure spring.  We have to endure the mud, the rain, the mess, the ugly, until the dirty snow melts and we can start the "clean-up."

My heart, too, is emerging from the darkness of winter, entering into the dirty spring.  My heart is an ugly mess laid bare by the melting snow.

It occurred to me that God has a season for "spring cleaning," too.  Before the beauty of His dwelling in our hearts can be revealed, the season of spring has to come to our hearts, in all it's ugliness.  All the ugliness of sin, bad attitudes, unforgiveness, etc has to be revealed in our hearts before God can root it all out, clean it all up, to prepare for the beauty to be revealed.

In other words, things can get worse before they can get better.  All has to be brought to the light before it can be dealt with and healed.  And even though this season is very hard, painful and dirty, it is necessary for summer to come.

In the natural, the snow has to melt deeply into the ground to begin the awakening of the grass that has long laid dormant.  The mess has to be revealed to be cleaned up.  The ground needs to be prepared again to receive the seeds that will bring forth the beauty.  The rain has to come to feed the thirsty trees, shrubs and bushes that will sprout forth leaves, flowers and fruit.

It's the spring season in my heart and God is revealing things that are not pretty but I know that summer is coming and the beauty of His work will be revealed.

Before the beauty can come, the mess has to be dealt with.  The sin and ugliness has to be revealed to be repented of, to be embraced, to be confessed and laid bare in God's hands for His beauty to be revealed.

We need to - I need to - hold fast to the hope I have in the Lord, knowing that His process, though painful at times, is absolutely necessary for my healing, for my "breakthrough."  He needs to "unearth" in order to re-plant and I need to cooperate with His process, knowing the summer beauty is coming.

The beauty of summer is coming.
The grass will poke up through the barren ground.
The grass will turn green.
The flowers will begin to grow.
The lilacs will bloom.
The leaves will sprout again.
The butterflies will return.
The birds will resume their singing.

As surely as winter turns to spring, spring turns to summer, summer turns to fall, and fall turns back to winter again, God will be Lord of the seasons of our hearts.

And just as the seasons come and go, year after year, so too is God's process in our hearts.  We go through those seasons - the darkness of winter, the ugliness of spring, the beauty of summer and the fruitfulness of autumn.

All seasons are part of His divine plan.

"My times are in your hands."
Psalm 31:15a

"He has made every thing beautiful in His time."
Ecclesiastes 3:11a

No comments:

Post a Comment