Did it feel like a hard winter to you?
It did to me.
About all I did was snuggle beneath a soft, warm throw and wait for spring. But I realize now, I waited with limited expectations.
Maybe that was because I was still recovering from fairly serious health problems that laid me low.
Or perhaps I was too focused on the distant view outside my back window instead of my own front yard.
Whatever the case, spring caught me by surprise.
Our yard seemed so bleak that I was astounded to see a row of forsythia bushes in full bloom outside a local business a couple of weeks ago.
How could that be when I hadn’t seen even one bud on ours?
But when I got home and gave our forsythia a closer look, to my delight, I found it filled with buds and a few stray blossoms.
It was the same when a friend posted a bouquet of daffodils on her Facebook page. Although we have lots of those buttery beauties in our front flowerbeds, none was in bloom or even budding.
Or so I thought.
But when looked closer, I found several buds, and I began to watch. Sure enough, one morning there was the first blossom. Then another.
Each day more opened up until a bed of tiny jonquils defied leftover leaves and fairly shouted, Rejoice!
I hadn’t been paying attention.
Spring had sprung.
Suddenly I saw flowers everywhere–Tulip trees, Bradford pears, hedges of forsythia, japonica, and bridal wreath—all blooming on bare wood and waving as I drove by. Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths danced in the March wind.
Every day their splendor brightens and lightens my heart.
Isn’t that just like God to transform barren limbs into loveliness? This bursting forth of flowers reminds me that life resides in the starkest branches and most barren ground.
However, at times, I felt as bleak as those bare branches. Even writing, my usual therapy, seemed lost to me. I produced nothing beyond an occasional journal entry, Facebook post, and thank you note.
But the truth is, even when I felt my worst, Jesus was with me, asking me to trust Him.
I sensed Him each time my good husband dropped everything to take me to a doctor’s appointment or pick up meds. He accompanied the friends who brought flowers and food, insisted on helping with laundry, stopped by to visit and pray. I felt his presence in the encouraging notes they sent by text, Facebook, email, and pretty cards with uplighting messages.
The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matt. 25:40
He was there each time sweet Timmy slept in my lap while I read my devotionals or just stared out the window.
Even when I was all alone, I knew He was with me.
Still that period wasn’t much fun.
But Hallelujah! Seasons faithfully change.
Now I think of the past winter as a time of rest, healing, and preparation for a new season of growth and fruitfulness.
For all of nature.
So if it feels like your spring is way late in arriving, don’t despair.
Watch for the signs.
He is faithful.
He will show up just when you need Him most.
Before you know it, your spirit will burst forth in full bloom.
… for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, Song of Solomon 2:11-12 NIV