by Susan Stewart
The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. Ecclesiastes 1:6
I like surprises. So I don’t usually bother with listening to weather reports. I do enjoy listening to people talk about the weather, though. Especially during our Canadian winters. I almost always chuckle to myself when someone complains about the snow and cold. What do people expect living here in the Great White North?
Well, my philosophy is to expect nothing. Not before May 1st, anyway. I don’t look for spring until it is long past due, and you know what? I’m never disappointed. In fact, every upturn in the mercury feels like an unexpected – and undeserved – blessing.
Last night late, as I left my car by the laneway and walked tired up the long sidewalk toward our old farmhouse, I felt a strange and unexpected sensation. Out of the darkness, the wind was blowing soft and gentle on my face. It seemed a stark difference to the biting cold that has been nipping at us all this winter long.
Spring is definitely, if barely, in the air. Last night, even though a cold white blanket of snow still covered the darkened earth in my view, I could feel its promise in the gentleness of the wind and I could actually smell its coming sweetness. The memory lingers this morning as I write. I am finding myself, long before it’s really due, with everyone else, hoping for spring to come soon.
The rhythm of the seasons speak to us of God's faithfulness. We hope for spring because it's always come. Our hope is based on what we have experienced and know to be true and our hearts are quickened by the hints we see of the promise to come. A receding snowbank. A dripping icicle growing smaller by the hour. A bare patch appearing in the garden on the south side of the house, where a few snowdrops unfurl the earliest gifts of spring. Soon we will be looking for the crocuses, then tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth, soon followed by summer in all it's glory.
I've walked down some difficult pathways in the last few years, and I'm learning to remember, in what is sometimes the dead of winter in my soul, and in my circumstances, that spring will surely come. We often pray, "Let your kingdom come, Your will done, here on earth, just like it is in heaven." I don't think that's just talking about the end of the age, but also the here and now. In our lives, winter passes, spring returns. His kingdom comes, his will is done more and more as our lives in him unfold. In the midst of the difficult circumstances, we can't see what God is doing beneath the snow of our hearts, and in the hearts of others, but he is getting things ready, allowing things to mature perfectly, waiting to be gloriously revealed with his perfect timing.
At the very beginning of the book of Titus, Paul says that we have "...a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light...”
Come again, into the difficult circumstances of our lives, into the unlovely places in our hearts, Lord Jesus, come and bring your Word to light. Melt our hearts, reveal your glory in our midst. Even so, come, Lord Jesus, come...