Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Beginnings

I love the whispers of spring that come this time of year.  After long months of bitter cold, howling winds, gloomy skies and precious few hours of sunshine, the foretelling of spring whispers its way into the world.  Days begin to lengthen, the sun seems to shine a little brighter and a little warmer, and soft tendrils of the season’s first flowers poke their way through last year’s dead foliage.   All signs point toward the renewing days of spring that lie ahead, and with them come a sense of hope and new beginnings.  The dread of winter begins to lessen as a fresh sense of purpose and freedom take root and blossom.  Yes, I love when spring shows itself to be just around the corner.  It makes me want to throw my hands to the sky and sing “Hosanna” with all of creation around me.
It’s no wonder spring holds such a strong sense of hope within its grasp.  It is, after all, in spring when we get to celebrate the very root of our freedom.  It was in spring when the Jews first experienced freedom from the oppressive slavery of the Egyptians.  It is in the spring when they celebrate the Passover in commemoration of that night when God set them free and allowed the blood of a spotless lamb to stand between them and death.  And it is in the spring when we celebrate God’s most amazing victory of all: when Jesus became that Passover Lamb and hung in our place on a Roman cross.  More importantly, we celebrate the fact that Christ defeated death and permanently made a way for us to live in harmonious fellowship with Himself.  Christ arose and set us free, from sin and death and from the oppressive lack of HOPE.  My spirit soars on Easter morning as we relive that glorious day when our Lord and Savior stood and walked from His own grave!
Spring reminds me of the rebirth that I have through Christ.  Like the deadness of winter, so too was my soul before I met Jesus.  And I don’t just mean my eternal soul.  Sure, He rescued that part of me when He redeemed me on Calvary.  But I also mean my heart, the very core of who I am.  Before Jesus, I was so ugly and stinky and…well, dead!  I reeked like the stagnant water at the bottom of a cesspool, so full of anger and selfishness and bitterness.  But Jesus cleaned all of that out.  He washed me clean with His blood, scrubbing and scrubbing until I was as white as snow.  And then He filled me back up with Himself.  What a beautiful sweet fragrance, the Spirit of God!
There are times when I allow myself to be filled up with all the ugliness that polluted me before.  Anger or bitterness rears its ugly head and the sweet water of the Spirit is muddied and soured.  But God tells us His mercies are new every morning, and every time we call on Him to cleanse us and make us new He does.  I praise God that, just as the flowers and the trees are given a fresh start each spring, so am I given a fresh start each day.
Spring: what a time of celebration and victory!  Take time this spring to watch as the flowers burst forth from the earth and be reminded of the day that Jesus burst forth from the grave, declaring final victory over death and sin.  Close your eyes and drink in the aroma of new life and dwell on the new life that you receive each day from the sweet Spirit that lives in you.  Relish the fact that Christ redeemed you and lift your voice in praise of the One who gives you life!

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