My family moved from Texas to Northwest Arkansas about 18 months ago. Texas has one and a half seasons: hot mixed with tornados, and then icy. That was it. We could swim from late April to November. Glory.
Northwest Arkansas on the other hand, has all four seasons. To which my husband says, “Hallelujah!” I love hot, muggy weather. It means lots of swimming and playing outside. He loves cold weather and snow. His cold weather lovin’ self has been so happy in NWA. I do NOT enjoy the winter here. It is long and way too cold for me.
This last winter started to do a number on my soul. I need to see sunshine and be outside. All the grass and trees were dead for months and everything just looked grey. I will admit though, seeing a real fall and a real spring has put a little skip in my step. The hills here are gorgeous in the fall. Every tree is a different color, and we take drives as often as possible just to marvel at the gorgeousness.
Here are my people at White Rock last year.
The spring is pretty great too! After such a long winter it has been so exciting to see the daffodils bloom and the trees bud. The sky has gotten blue and the grass is getting green again. Ahh!
I’m thankful that God built the seasons to change. I’ve found that most things that God has created in the physical world mirrors what He is doing in the spiritual world. This means that seasons change in our souls too.
This weekend, we celebrate the most important day in all of history. Without Easter, we wouldn’t have the hope of eternal life. Easter is what makes Jesus stand out from all other gods. Other gods want their followers to offer sacrifices to them. Our God, gave Himself as a sacrifice for us.
“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole,” (1 Peter1:3-5MSG).
I think God is pretty smart. (Biggest understatement of the century!) He situated Christ’s resurrection in the spring on purpose. Israel’s spring is very similar to ours. The weather is usually between 50-70 degrees and can be rainy. The almond trees blossom, which makes the air fragrant. Again, ahh!
Israel would have gone through their very short, almost non-existent winter and would have been transitioning into spring when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. That changes my picture of the Garden of Gethsemane. I always pictured it dry and desolate and ugly. Jesus prayed in this garden before He was taken by the Roman guards. Look at this…
(Garden of Gethsemane photo by Don Knebel.)
When Mary ran into Jesus after His resurrection, she thought that He was the gardener. Was it because the tomb was near beautiful gardens?
“She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him,”” (John20:14-15NLT, emphasis added).
I say all of that to say, even the weather at this time of year points to Christ’s resurrection. Trees that looked dead come back to life. Flowers that have been dormant for the whole year, sprout and bloom. Life comes back to what seemed dead. Isn’t that beautiful and exciting?! Jesus died on Friday and what seemed gone and lost forever, came back to life on Sunday. Wow! Every year, God has so kindly built into the seasons a reminder that Jesus is alive, and He brings us life.
“The season has changed, the bondage of your barren winter has ended, and the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers. The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived. I hear the cooing of doves in our land, filling the air with songs to awaken you and guide you forth. Can you not discern this new day of destiny breaking forth around you? The early signs of my purposes and plans are bursting forth. The budding vines of new life are now blooming everywhere. The fragrance of their flowers whispers, “There is change in the air.” Arise, my love, my beautiful companion, and run with me to the higher place. For now is the time to arise and come away with me,” (Song of Songs2:11-13TPT).
Reading that scripture makes me take deep breath. He is so in love with me (and you!). The seasons changing show God’s kindness and pursuit of us.
I asked people on my Choosing Trust social media this week what their favorite season is and what season of life they were in. Spring was the winner and everyone who responded was in transition. But sometimes even spring can come with unexpected pain. We’ve experienced this recently in our little world.
I picked my daughter up from school two weeks ago and as soon as I saw her leave the building, I could tell something was wrong. Her body language was off. She got into the car and bursted into tears. I asked if she had gotten into trouble or if someone was mean to her that day. She sobbed and said, “No Mama, Logan died.”
A seven year old boy in her class had an undiagnosed heart arrhythmia that took his life. His parents had to watch him be taken off of life support and pass away. I can not even imagine.
My little girl asked me a tough question… She said, “Mama, if God can bring Jesus back from the dead, why can’t He just do that for him too?” Her seven-year old mind had zero doubt that it was possible, and she wrestled with why God hadn’t answered her prayer. Such a real question. I told her I didn’t know but encouraged her to ask Him. I told her that we have all asked that same question and that she wasn’t going to get in trouble with Him for asking.
I don’t know what you are facing right now. Your heart might not be skipping with springtime joy. And that’s ok. Easter is about life and hope. But it came after intense suffering and loss. Christ suffered inexpressible pain for us.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed,” (Isaiah53:3-5ESV).
If your season hasn’t been very enjoyable, remember that seasons change. Good Friday didn’t feel good to Jesus or His disciples. God knew what was coming. The same is true today. If your season doesn’t feel good, God knows what is coming. Someday you’ll look back on this season and call it good too.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them,” (Romans 8:28 NLT).
There are lessons to be learned from the seasons we’re in. We aren’t supposed to rush to get out of them. And while we’re there, it’s okay to ask God the tough questions- He can handle them.
At the same time, we aren’t supposed to move in and set up camp in our season. We are just passing through. There’s a fine line between those two extremes, and we have to wisdom and lots of insight from Holy Spirit to navigate through them.
I am praying that you will draw close to God this Easter. He has done so much in His pursuit of you. He has even painted the flowers and given birds their song to show you that He is up to good. Please know I love you and am praying for you no matter what season if life you find yourself in.