With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season of your life. Hemingway– A Moveable Feast
Hemingway caught a glimpse into my thoughts in a recent Spring as I read his chapter leading into Fake Spring. It had been warm and springy for few days, only to be brutally interrupted by cold temperatures and cold rain, sleet, and hail ~ all in one day. Colorado weather is usually unpredictable, but especially so that Spring. How I longed for the warmth of spring and the green of the trees. I wished for the blooming of the flowers; an end to the death of winter and the resurrection of new life.
How often I wish for the springtime in life as well. It is hard when God holds you in a winter season; so often it feels as though it will never end. Sometimes a glimpse of Spring teases, only to awaken me back to reality with the harsh cold rain, like being awakened from a marvelous dream. God holds us in winter seasons so that the old things die. It hurts when those things die, but it is so that new life can grow. Winter is a long hard season; it is cold, grey, and dingy. The one refreshing thought in the midst of winter, eventually Spring will come. Hemingway, upon giving up gambling on horse-racing announced, “I knew that everything good and bad left an emptiness when it stopped”. Those words are so true; however, God wants to fill up the emptiness with Him, to bring us to new life.
You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light, But you knew there would always be spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. Hemingway ~ A Moveable Feast
Is that not our joy? Knowing that spring will come; God will not keep us in winter forever. How can we have that hope? I wrote in “Ruth Part Seven” that Ruth and Naomi had vision attached to their perspective. It does not matter how dismal things look, or how long we have to wait, when we hold to the vision God has given for our life, we can be assured Spring is on the way. Most of us are familiar with Habakkuk 2:2, write the vision down, but I love the verse in The Message Bible:
“And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming ~ it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.” Habakkuk 2: 2-3.
It is important to wait out God’s seasons; they are part of the journey. He can work great things in us when we wait. Usually, I take my plants that made it through the winter, out of the greenhouse and arrange them in the front yard on Mother’s Day. Something inside insisted I wait; if I had not, despite the warm temperatures of the past few days, they would have died in the cold night. Thankfully, they are resting warm in the safety and security of the greenhouse. Though the season demanded it was time for those geraniums and hydrangeas to turn their face to the sun, and grace my front yard, they would have died ~ it was not time.
And that is our strength, knowing that spring will come; the vision will come. As constant as the seasons of the earth, While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (c.f. Genesis 8:22 NASB), so is the constancy of the Creator who set those seasons in order. Though it may still look like winter, spring is coming, just as sure as the sun will rise, ending the mourning (Psalm 30:5), and greeting most happily, the joy which He promises.