The Midwest has endured a very cold month of March. Today was so cold; you didn’t even want to venture outside. Just the thought of the cold wind beating against my body kept me inside. Finally, I had to venture outside to try to teach my dog to use her new electric fence. Brrr. My miserably cold body shivered as I tried to train her to stay on one side of the little flags in my yard. She played and jumped all around. She loves the outdoors –even in the cold. She cannot get enough of the squirrels and the birds and the bunnies jumping all around us. It made me think; I can bundle up and enjoy the cold too. I can find joy in the winter. Of course, I was still praying that Spring would show up (you know because it is the first day of Spring). Maybe Spring was just a mindset. Did it really mean that warm 70 degree days must exist in Spring? I guess not, because it was 27 degrees and felt like 4 degrees.
Springtime actually means an early or flourishing stage of development. It really doesn’t say it has to be warm. It just needs to be the developing stage of Summer. My personal “Springtime” is when I first learned about Jesus. I sprouted little buds of knowledge and continued to produce beauty out of what was dead in my life. The seasons reflect my faith journey very well. I have a wonderful growth in my faith (Spring), it blossoms and blooms and creates a beautiful warm feeling inside of me (Summer), then I turn to sin and things start to fall apart (Fall). It is when I lose myself to sin that everything deadens. I shrivel up and turn away from all those who are trying to help me. I hide from the light (Winter). The great thing about seasons is they are circular. I always have the chance to turn away from sin and start again in new life. Sometimes I skip Winter all together.
You see, we can hide away all Winter long, but God is still out there waiting for us to Spring back to Him. He loves us so much that He allows us to find our way back once again. So, when I noticed my dog enjoying Winter, I realized that I can do that too. I can skip over feeling dead inside to sin and turn back to the light. I can let go of stress and burdens and return to God. I have the ability to change the season at any time. I can choose to be miserable and sad living in the dark, cold winter OR I can choose to be joyful and see the light of Spring.
From the Lyrics of “Return to God” by Marty Haugen- GIA Publications ”Return to God with all your heart, the source of Grace and Mercy. Come seek the tender faithfulness of God.”