Thursday, February 18, 2016

rest in winter looking toward spring

As I watched the snow fall out the window, I began to look forward to spring. Right now, the yard looks dead and brown. There are no plants growing.  It looks lifeless. Spring is a time of new growth and flowers. While enjoy the beauty of snow covered fields and plants, I know it is cold, and all the plants are dormant.  I begin to look forward to planting and seeing growth.
My mother was a plant person. She loved gardening, especially flowers. Her back yard was full of flowers. Roses lined the back  and the house. Daffodils, calla lilies and hyacinths were in the flower beds.  One of my favorite pictures of my mom is of her standing with a shovel in her hand and smile on her face. I like to get out in the yard and plant flowers just because it makes me feel close to mom.
Plants take cultivation, nurturing, and care. There is a time of patience and waiting to see what they will become.  I have planted some things hoping for quick return only to have to wait months before I see that little bud begin to grow. It is a great reward for the work and patience.
I guess spiritually, we can be like this as well.  We go through times or seasons when things get cold, maybe even feel lifeless.  We may feel like we are stuck, not heard or struggling just to make it through. We may feel like we are stuck in a spiritual winter. But we can look forward to our spring.
When we keep going, keep our faith in God and trust Him, he brings us through those times into a time of new growth and new expectations. We may feel like we are lying dormant waiting for something to happen.  God may be causing us to rest and prepare us for the next phase in our spiritual walk. Trees and plants go dormant during those cold months but there is still life waiting to burst forth in spring. The plants are resting and taking in nutrients that will supply them for a new season of growth. Spiritually, we sometimes need that time of rest or dormancy to rejuvenate, soak in His love and spirit for a new season in our lives. 
There is a time when Elijah ran into the wilderness from Jezebel and collapsed in despair. He cried out for God to take his life. God sent an angel to comfort him. II Kings 19:7 And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”
God understood the journey had become tiresome and Elijah was at his wits end. He understood that Elijah needed rest and comfort. God provided that time of rest and restoration. He went forty days just on that food from the angel. He then had a great revelation from God in a cave. God was faithful to Elijah. He restored him even when things looked bleak and lifeless, God was actually at work for Elijah.
So, when we are faced with those times of despair and feeling lifeless spiritually, take a moment to realize that God may be working on you to provide for you a time of rest and restoration. He may be preparing to give you a great revelation or move you into a time of new growth for His kingdom. We can say like Paul We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 2 Corinthians 4:8. or as David said, For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.  Psalms 30:5.
God is always on our side and He is always faithful to provide for us, love us and care for us. There is never a time He is not near.

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