Spring is Sure to Follow

  See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

~Song of Songs 2:11-12

My son lives in Phoenix now. The one thing he really misses is the changing of the seasons. The winters there are mild, and spring lasts a month if they are very lucky. Here in the northeast, winter was not so bitter, but it was especially snowy and icy, which made it feel long. Nothing is so unwelcome as snow when the crocuses should be blooming…or when Easter is around the corner. 

But as I considered this, I found it to be all the more appropriate. The night is darkest before the dawn, and perhaps winter is bitterest right before the spring. Certainly, God was thinking along these lines when He sent His Son into our world.  He waited for just the right time, when sin and injustice were rampant, and when a conquering regime (Rome) was threatening to eliminate Judaism outright – either through cultural assimilation or imperial law. Things looked bleak. It had been 500 years since God had spoken through a prophet. Faithful Jews were convinced God had forgotten them, and then – boom – here comes Jesus. And when he had built a successful ministry that looked to rival the Sadducees and Pharisees for the hearts of Jews – boom – arrest, conviction and crucifixion.  Talk about bleak. Things seemed absolutely dismal. But wait – there’s more! On the third day, there was Jesus, appearing to the women, and to the disciples in the upper room and to those guys on the Emmaus Road, and later to hundreds.

Just like a long, bitter winter concludes with a burgeoning of blooms on trees, bushes and bulbs, so Jesus’ crucifixion concluded with a wonder so magnificent we struggle to comprehend it today. Through Jesus’ death, all peoples everywhere have received the ability to be reconciled to God, adopted as his children and heirs, and receive eternal life! The ultimate chance to be born again with a clean slate is ours. What a miracle!

But what if the disciples, feeling defeated and fearing reprisals from Rome, gave up and ran away, or hung themselves like Judas? Grief and disappointment have a way of clouding our rational thought. Pain and sorrow can create a tunnel which seems to have no light at the end. This is where the real lesson comes:

Hold on for your miracle! 

Jesus promised He would rise, and He did. No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. Though everything seems cold and dead and hopeless, new life and new meaning is just ahead. Hold on for your miracle. Golden Eagles sit incubating their eggs for 45 days with no sign of life, no hint at whether that egg will hatch or not. They have no choice but to hold on. If they quit, that chick will surely die. But if they are patient, new life emerges! Jesus promised He would never leave us nor forsake us. No matter how desperate your situation seems, no matter how hopeless, no matter if you can’t see a way through – ESPECIALLY IF YOU CAN’T SEE A WAY THROUGH – know that God has a springtime of renewal waiting for you. Hold on for your miracle! Our world has been huddling indoors, separated, worried, unsure of the future. Don’t give up. Just hold on a little while longer and watch for your miracle of rebirth. Use this time of tribulation to grow closer to God through prayer and Bible reading. And rest confidently knowing that your spring, our spring, WILL follow.

Dear Heavenly Father, be with all of those who are struggling through a time of spiritual winter. Surround them in Your love. Lead them to those who can light their path to springtime. Grant them strength to keep holding on, peace in their struggle, and give them the reassurance of Your love until their springtime comes. Amen.

Stay blessed,

Jen Jahromi