Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Glory of Springtime

Don’t you just love spring? It’s simply glorious. Trees blooming. Plants blossoming. It’s all so beautiful. Unless of course you were looking at my front yard earlier this year.

Last summer we bought three bushes that looked so promising. The leaves were supposed to turn all kinds of spectacular colors as the seasons progressed. We were so hopeful. But this spring all we had left were barren sticks.

Two of the plants seemed utterly hopeless, but one had a few vestiges of leaves.  I uprooted all three plants and tossed aside two of them but decided to give the barely alive plant a second chance.

So, I took the lone survivor and replanted it in my back yard. Maybe a new location where it could get more sun would make a difference. With little hope for a recovery, I dug the hole, placed the plant in it, watered it, and waited to see what would happen.

The first week there was little improvement. The next week a little more. And the jury is still out on whether it will live into its potential, but, as of today, many of the once barren branches have given life to green leaves that show a hint of those spectacular colors we once hoped for.

I’ve felt like that struggling bush at times in my life. And maybe you have too. There have been times when much of what I once hoped for never seemed to blossom. Dreams were just dreams. Hopes were never realized. Life seemed to be waning. I think it happens to most everyone. We experience hard seasons in our life where we don’t get enough sun or water. Or maybe we get too much sun and too much water. Life can be harsh and we sometimes find ourselves looking and feeling like barren sticks.

But like that little bush that is now blooming, I’ve seen the same thing in my life and the lives of so many others. Sometimes a second chance is all it takes.

Today, if you are feeling like that little bush, I want you to know that God has not given up on you. He has an amazing ability to see even the smallest signs of life in people and he sees that in you. He gives second and third and fourth chances to those who refuse to give up.

Today, if you are feeling like that little bush, maybe what you need is a new location.  Maybe you’ve been deprived of the light of God’s love. Maybe you’ve been deprived of the water of supportive relationships. Maybe you’re planted in foul dirt of this world rather than the rich soil of God’s Word.

Today, if you are feeling like that little bush don’t give up the hope that there are spectacular colors in you. The transformation may be slow and challenging, but one day, by God’s grace, you will exhibit all the glory of springtime.

Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

Isaiah 35:6–7 (NIV)

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