For a couple of weeks, I have been watching the trees in our garden for signs of change to finally mark the arrival of spring. One evening, I looked up and saw some red buds on the tree (pictured). That sight filled me with hope that indeed those lovely leaves are on their way, spring was here.
When we think about spring, we often picture lovely blooming flowers and trees with luscious fruit and leaves, but we forget how it starts. At the commencement of spring, the trees don’t have those luscious greenery which we have come to expect but little buds. These buds tell us that those blooms that we’re used to seeing are on the way. That in just a few weeks and with lots of rain we will see those leaves and flowers bloom.
Seeing those buds on the trees reminds me of Job 14:8-9 “Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. (NIV)
I believe that picture is so representative of our lives. We give up hope when we don’t see God’s promises coming to pass because things look as lackluster as those plain looking buds. We miss God’s hand work in our lives because he works in unexpected ways just as we miss the tree changes because we don’t notice anything different until we take a closer look. We want to see our dreams fulfilled in high definition but in comparison it looks like things are happening in very slow fashion.
We sometimes miss the little changes which are signs of coming fruitfulness and a sign of the great things God has in store. Those indicators that God hasn’t forgotten us and his promises are true and that he is committed to fulfilling his word. We miss those signs because we’re looking for big things. We compare ourselves with others and come up short and use that as a measure of the realization of God’s promises in our lives.
I believe this Easter as we celebrate the resurrection, God wants to remind us that he has begun to bring his promises to pass in our lives. As Isaiah 43:19 says, ” Behold, I do a new thing. Even now it springs forth. shall you not perceive it”? We don’t often perceive what God is doing while it is in progress. But as we quiet our souls down and stay in a place of active rest, we will begin to perceive the change in seasons that ushers in something new and beautiful in our lives.
I remember very recently, I walked into church with my heart in so much turmoil because I had many directional questions for God with no answers. That day we were worshiping to the song “God, who moves the mountains” by Healing is Right. It felt so apt as I felt surrounded by mountains. I worshiped my heart out in an otherwise conservative environment. After service, someone walked up to me and gave me a word saying a lot of apt things including that God wanted me to stay in active rest because he was indeed going to move those mountains. In so many ways I can now see what he is doing. I can see the “little buds of hope” that signal that a big season change is on the way.
Similarly, spring started since 5 p.m. March 25th. However, nothing changed on that day. I practically rolled my eyes when they made the announcement on the radio because we still had subzero temperatures. The fact that my experience indicated more “sprinter” than spring did not change the fact that a new season had begun. In the same way, some of you reading this are at the cusp of something new. As you read this, know that God is not done yet. His word over you is taking from right now. Your new season is on the way.
I pray that God will give us eyes to perceive what he’s doing not only in our lives but in our world in this season because his promises are true. Happy Easter everyone.