Continuing on at our look of seasons, we come to Spring.
Spring brings such hope and expectation with it. Unlike any other season, Spring is a visual (and sometimes nasal, due to allergies) reminder that God brings life. No theme is more prevalent than Jesus conquering death and bringing life to all who would put their faith in Him.
For the past few years we have had a late snowfall. It has come after the first crocus and daffodil bulbs have bloomed. Since we have both of these flowers in our front yard, I have been able to enjoy the beauty of these flowers contrasted against the white snow and harsh conditions. In one way, their beauty shows that even in the harshest conditions, God’s design in these plants is not being overcome by their conditions. They are thriving in spite of the outward weather they are enduring. Their leaves might be weighed down by the wet snow, the stem may be bent low, but the contrast of their color to the backdrop of the snow is stunning.
So to with us. The Winter might return for one last hurrah, but God is able to keep us blooming, and healthy in the midst of it
Spring is also when we plant a garden and put seeds into the ground. Jesus gave us a picture of the death required of a seed in John 12:24 when He said, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it brings forth much grain.” He was speaking of His own death in this analogy. Death is required for life to be known. We cannot ignore this and determine that principle is only applicable to our Savior. We also are called to die to ourselves daily and choose to follow Christ. That is the only way life can be fully experienced.
Finally, Spring forces us to be patient. This is the part of Spring that I don’t particularly like. We get to see the signs of life, the promise of fruit, but there is no rushing the amount of time it takes for a bud to actually go through the stages from blossom to fruit. In fact, some trees can take up to 7 years before they will even be fruitful!
Fruit takes time and we cannot do anything about that. Instead, we must expectantly wait by continuing to care for the tree, allowing it to remain healthy so that it can bear fruit.
During this time when the buds are blooming and going through their natural process to become fruit, the tree itself is undergoing changes to be strong enough to hold the fruit. Fruit is weighty! The branches and limbs of a tree that has just endured Winter is not necessarily ready to immediately hold up the heavy ripe fruit, so, with time, the tree grows strong enough for the fruit.
We tend to think that we can handle anything that God brings into our lives immediately and that we are mature enough to take on more, but the truth is that we need time to mature. We need time to grow strong enough to bear good and sometimes heavy “fruit”. We need time to become healthy so that we are able to be useful to the Master Arborist. But that requires patience on our part and that is not something that is natural to us.
Yes, Spring brings a sense of newness of life and hope, but it also shows us how long it takes for that life to bear fruit. We cannot rush that process, but we can allow the Lord to take us through that process in a way that brings honor and glory to Him.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. -John 15:16