Oh me of little faith.
I start to feel a little frantic. What if it never ends? Mid-march and another snow storm; on the eve of the day the heat gets turned off, no less. The calendar says winter is over, but the old man hasn’t given up his fight yet.
For weeks, I’ve been examining the trees for signs of spring. And I worry… what if the late frost has frozen the budding life I’ve seen on the trees? I’ve watched the tips and ends swell with the promise of spring and I wonder what would happen if winter won’t give up. Can it be squelched? Could it be stopped? Will it fight back?
Winter seems much stronger that spring, don’t you agree?
The delicate blossoms. The pale green of new buds… it is the very color of frailty. And as the trees sway in a frigid wind blowing down from the plains of Mongolia, I wonder how spring survives. The unlikely victor… How does it win the fight?
But the days are getting longer. The morning’s light fills the room before my eyes open. Spring is pushing in; its light pushing back the dark blanket of winter. Despite my fear – despite all signs to the contrary – change is inevitable. The seasons move on. Spring is victorious.
And of course I’m not talking just of weather.
I look around – old and young souls, shut tight against the frigid winds of life. Windows shuttered and doors closed. The layers of clothes protecting against the biting winds are as thick as the invisible layers covering our souls — protectively piled on to mask our pain and heartache. The barrenness of winter mirrors the barrenness of lives. Empty. Desolate. Angry and cold.
There is always winter out there. The darkness of pain. The coldness of loneliness. The bitter chill of suffering. It seems much stronger than the work of spring — the delicate blossoms of love and the restoration of dead branches into fruit-bearing, life-giving vines. All this promise and hope seems to be lurking in the air, but when caught in winter’s cold wind, I can’t help but wonder if believing in that promise and hope is an exercise in futility.
But the seasons tell me otherwise. It doesn’t seem possible, but change is inevitable. New life sneaks in. First a splash of color in the most unlikely place – a life transformed, maybe in small ways at first. But before long the landscape has transformed and we’re in a new place. It’s sometimes hard to even remember what the barrenness looked like.
I do not understand how the gentleness of spring beats the raging of winter, but it happens every year. And it happens every day in the lives of young and old who are touched by the Father’s love. It is not a one-time occurrence. We are works of redemption in progress, always being asked to turn over the parts of our hearts still caught in forever-winter to the one who brings new life.
His is the touch of Spring. Love really does win.