We planted potatoes and onions on Monday and they were covered with snow by Thursday, which just happened to be April Fool’s Day. I’ll admit that I’ve got a bad case of spring fever and the joke was on me. Last week Nancy and I took a walk along the south facing slope of Timber Butte and saw some early flowers peek their heads up in warm protected areas. It put hope in our hearts, but then the weather changed and it was like the proverb states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” (Proverb 13:12a) I, for one, am more than ready for a new season. Next Sunday we will celebrate Easter which is all about resurrection and new beginnings. This is more like the second half of the same proverb, “…but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverb 13:12b)
During this hard season of recession many folks are struggling in a lot of ways. There is a scary uncertainty in the air not only economically, but on many fronts. As a pastor I am constantly aware of people’s fears and personal crisis issues. The stresses of life have a way of causing relational struggles in marriages, with friends, employers and extended family. Even physical health can be affected. Most everyone I know is ready for a brighter new season in their lives and like the last few weeks up here at Timber Butte we get glimpses of warmer sunnier days to come. But, then on the heels of the temporary hint of spring weather comes another snow or windy hail storm.
In all of this, the good news always is the same – God is a God of redemption and renewal. He is a God of new beginnings and fresh new starts. Romans 1:20 tells us that God reveals his nature through all that he has created and he created changing seasons. Winter will eventually turn spring even if our hope gets deferred a time or two in the process. God’s intent and promise to those who love him is for the gardens of their lives to spring up and grow in the full sunlight and warmth of his presence. In a way you might say this is the message of Easter. Jesus came to humanity to bring the provision of redemption to anyone who would accept and receive it. For those who choose to praise him he pours out his grace, healing and the promise for new life. Isaiah put it like this, “The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.”(Isa. 61:11)