Ballad of Winter, Ode to Spring: Seasons’ Greetings (and Tweetings!)

Twitter is going to help me with brevity at the outset of this blog because, honestly, what’s prepared to girlishly gush out of my heart and onto this Word document could fill the first half of War and Peace. So, since I presume most of you aren’t seeking out snippets of Tolstoy during your daily blog reads, I’ll condense my reflective musings into roughly 140 characters, chosen from a Tweet I sent two days ago:

“The past 3 weeks hve proven 2 b both a physical & spiritual spring in my life. Life & love spring forth from the Vine.”

I then attached a miniaturized link to John 15:5, which quotes Jesus:

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”  

Okay, I realize my Tweet, despite its commendable concision, is the antithesis of clear; in fact, it’s as vague as a sullen post-breakup facebook status (you know the ones). But no matter, the details are irrelevant. What is relevant, and what I wish to share, is that for about a year and a half (specifically June 2009-January 2011), my hypothetical tweets would not have sounded so chipper and “springy…”

Just as Jesus employed His natural surroundings and the laws of agriculture and standards of society to relate powerful parables to His followers, God uses nature and the beauty of His creation to teach us individually about the ebb and flow of our walk with Him. Physical seasons are a great part of that.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot … a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…”–Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2, 4

The year and a half preceding the “spring” I’m presently blossoming into was undoubtedly the harshest winter of my life, and again, the details are rather Homeric in length. Suffice it to say, apart from Christ, I would probably still be hibernating in a cave, waiting in vain for winter to melt away.

But I pray that it is a testimony to His faithfulness that I did survive the bleakness of a season blanketed by a hopeless cover of snow. I did emerge from that season of death, weeping, scattering, and searching. And I did so only because I abided in the Source of my strength: Jesus Christ.

Lamentations 3:22-23 says that it is because of “the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning…”

During that long winter, I clung to verses such as that one, believing that it was because of the life-giving Vine that I would continue to be fruitful, despite my heavy, ice-laden branches.  It wasn’t easy to believe I would one day heal and laugh and dance, like Ecclesiastes describes. And to be terribly truthful, there were many mornings when I couldn’t feel the “compassions” of God. But I kept reading Lamentations 3…

“…The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord … For no one is cast off by the Lord forever … so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” – v. 25-26, 31-33

What a blessing and an inexpressible comfort it was to “wait quietly” for the Lord’s salvation! Though He didn’t will the affliction I was suffering, nor send  the burden of grief I was bearing, He was faithful to sustain and ultimately carry me through the winter, and gently set me down in the dawn of a new spring day.

And that is where I am now as I sit in a ray of light reflecting on the amazing ways and incommunicable works of our great God!

I can honestly say that I am thankful for the winter, for without it, the warmth of the sun would not be near as sweet. 

Stay fit, stay faithful  ~<3 Di