The bank by the cove is demanding attention. It is splattered with a fiesta of fuchsia coming from the azaleas. The snowball viburnum, that the deer apparently thought I had purchased for their dinner, has pressed through the ravages of trauma and Winter and one lone snow puff ball of white has emerged victorious. The Carolina jasmine has trailed like the most dainty ballerina through the crevices of the stone, and yellow blossoms are waving at Spring. The purple bloom of the vinca minor vines has peeped out from the pine straw where it had been nestled for the winter. This is what life looks like. It is called Spring. It is my favorite.
What stunned me the most is that the first tops of my peonies have come up from the ground. When you plant them, you are to plant the small shoots beneath a small layer of dirt. In two weeks, they had already found air. Now, some have small deep green leaves with the edges painted crimson, while the two small tree varieties have a powder green leaf, and balls of life hang waiting for blooms to burst forth.
There is a line in the newer hymn by the Getty’s, “In Christ Alone,” that says, “Then bursting forth in glorious day up from the grave, He rose again.”
I don’t think it is an accident that Spring is when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, and virtually all scholars agree He did die and was resurrected in Spring. Is it any wonder He designed Spring to be such a symbol of life? We can’t escape it. We can ignore it. But, we can’t escape it. If we want to, we need to do a heart check.
Are you weary from the winter? A little numb from the chill? A little bitter from the biting winds? A little depressed from the dreariness? Winters can be hard. Both in the natural and spiritual. They can ravage our hearts with all kinds of elements. Elements that simply make our noses cold to temperatures, or so brutal it feels like limbs need to be amputated. Life can be unkind. The fall made it so. But, in the middle of all the unfairness Adam and Eve’s decisions to disobey God’s boundary of love brought, Jesus came. And He didn’t just come a little. He came extravagantly. And when He burst forth from that grave everything changed! Just like it does in Spring. Dormant becomes dazzling. Hidden becomes heavenly. Buried becomes bursting.
Now, consider this. If you have given Jesus your heart, then this next statement is true for you. “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” Romans 8:11. You might want to read that again. Out loud. Slowly. Yes, that’s right. The resurrection power of Jesus Christ dwells in you to resurrect all that feels dead, or worn out, or half-baked. What the winter ravages, Jesus can resurrect.
He can resurrect it all.
Song of Solomon 2:11-13 “For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
You see those last two words of that passage? He is inviting you to “come away.” To come away from the things that have felt dead and experience the resurrection life He has to offer, because the “time of the singing… has come.”
Denise, that sounds so easy, but you don’t know how hard it is. You just do not know. Friend, I don’t have to know. I didn’t die for your winter seasons. Jesus did. He does know. And He extends to you the resurrection of Spring. Often, for dead places to be resurrected, we have to own the lies we have believed and the agreements we have made with those lies.
God isn’t for me.
God won’t come through.
God isn’t just.
God can’t use me.
God isn’t big enough.
God hasn’t made me enough.
God expects me to get it right.
God needs me.
God has abandoned me. God_________________ (you fill in the blank).
Now, ask the Lord if your heart has made an agreement with one of those lies. If it has, here is your choice. You can keep it. Live in it. Own it and stay in winter until limbs have to be amputated or until your heart dies. Or you can repent of it. Repentance means to “change your mind.” You reject the lie. Find what is really true inside God’s Word and you choose to believe it. You speak it over your situation and you choose to believe it is true about your God, and then you ask Him to give you the faith to walk in it.
“If God is for me, who can be against me?”
“I am complete in Christ.”
“Christ died for me while I was of no use to Him whatsoever.”
“When I pass through the fire God is with me.”
“God will judge both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time… a time to judge every deed.”
“God will never leave me or forsake me.”
We are standing in the very Crayola box of Spring, and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus that was so powerful it divided our calendar, and is the only thing that can change a human heart and turn it from stone to flesh. Today, He wants to break up the hard soil of your heart so life can come forth. Winter is over. Spring has come. It wants to burst forth. What will you choose?