Well we made it, another desert winter come and gone. Our month and a half of chilly weather has passed and we can bring our shorts and t-shirts out of their brief retirement. The desire to be outside is at its strongest that it will be all year, before it gets so hot that the only reason you would want to go outside is to see if those eggs you left on the sidewalk are done frying yet.
Spring is my favorite time of year. It is the time of year during which I feel most alive. My favorite part is watching the trees come back to life. Even as a little girl, I remember the excitement I would get when the giant mulberry tree in our front yard began to get those small green buds on it that signified the return of the big green leaves that I had raked into a pile and played in the previous fall. I watched as each day they slowly changed from buds, to these green fuzzy things that looks like little caterpillars, to fledgling leaves that shivered in the breeze, to the fully formed, dark green leaves bigger than my entire hand. Every year the process repeated itself. The tree that looked so dead and cold was suddenly filled with color and life again. There are times when I feel like a tree in the winter. I know that inside I am not dead. Christ has saved me and made me a new creation. But life gets hard or even just monotonous, and I begin to lose my vibrancy. I become dull, cold, and seemingly barren of all my former vitality. I am not a tree though. There is no set time period for how long that state can last. I could be years. But this does not mean that there is no hope.
Ask any woman who has prayed to see her husband come to Christ for years and finally sits next to him in church, or any parent who has watched their child run from them all of their life, but now sees them every week for family meals, ask them if there is hope. When we have been made sons and daughters of the God of the universe, we can never run so far that he cannot find us and once again bring us back to him. At first we will just be little buds, the progress we have made hardly visible unless closely examined, but with each passing day we grow a little more until one day our tree is full and green and vibrant once more and we can proclaim loudly from the rooftops that our God never fails, never gives up, and never runs out on us.
This year, and every year after this, as you see the world that was once brown and colorless being renewed, let it remind you that we have never wandered too far from the God who loves us.