The seasons this year have been reflective of my mood. But time and time again, I have always held to the hope that spring always comes. Even if it comes later than we are hoping...it always comes. And because spring is sure to come every year, we can trust that it will come again. Always.
I have found in my life that the darkest winters tend to produce the most beautiful and vibrant of springs. It could be the anticipation of brighter days. Or it could be that all the tilling of the soil is making way for something beautiful to grow. But through the storms, we are made stronger...if we allow it. We may be weathered, but we are not broken.
Romans 5:3 says, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
My pastor shared and talked about this verse at church yesterday. It is one that has always spoken to me.
Kenneth shared that he could understand how suffering produces perseverance and how perseverance produces character. But how can character produce hope? Now that really got me thinking. About myself and my own life. How has character produced hope in my life?
And of course, the answer points straight to the cross: Christ. When we draw near to Christ in our sufferings and allow our sufferings to strengthen us, we naturally grow closer to Him. And in clinging to Christ, we cling to Hope itself. Christ is Hope. And Christ has the ability to strengthen the character of a person and ignite a new kind of hope and passion. The strengthening in character strengthens the confidence in hope. A character built on Christ, and a hope centered in Christ.
A hope that spring always comes.
Christ always comes.
The past few weeks have been hard.
I had to let go of the one thing I had of my dad that I could keep with me.
And this is what I was left with:
The one thing that has remained unchanging all my life. From the beginning of my life until now. From the beginning of time to the end of time.
Time has only strengthened my faith as it continues to prove itself to be a constant. It is always there...Christ is always there. Always faithful. Always steady. Always sure. Never changing. Always ready to bring life and healing and wholeness. The creator of winters and the creator of springs. Maybe Christ even allows the storms and winters into our lives so that He can use those seasons to draw us closer to Him as we wait for spring.
Spring always comes. And for some of us, it is already here.