The first day of spring meant a trip to our backyard in search of new life. Considering the extreme weather that’s been pounding at us all winter long, my venture to the garden held little hope for capturing sight of any forget-me-nots. But, there above the hardened soil that only two days earlier had been blanketed under six inches of snow, a glorious cluster of half-inch silver-green leaves had emerged.
“Victory!” was the dictum of the day. Winter threatened death, but it didn’t win. The formidable cold could not snuff out the life of our forget-me-nots.
Lessons of Time
I’ve learned some things over the past 12 years watching our forget-me-nots overcome winter’s desolation, and my outlook about the future has been influenced by them. No matter how harsh the season, death in our garden is only temporary, and I can hold onto my anticipation for renewed life, because with all certainty, spring will come. The days will grow longer again, the frozen earth will thaw beneath the sun’s warmth, and in the blink of an eye, new life will burst forth.
My faith is not in gardening skills, or the forget-me-nots, or any other sphere of nature. My faith is in the One who created all things and dictates the Truth that orders their existence. Spring comes in its time, because God designed it so. Hardened soil softens, because God’s nature is nurturing. Life overcomes the clutches of death, because God’s love wars and wins for His creation.
But what about the winter seasons of life where no distinct demarcation for crossing over into a new season is in sight? Isn’t it true that some things do come to their end in winter? These are fair questions to ask.
For nearly 10 years, there’s been one particular hope that Tanie and I have been waiting for, and the question of whether or not we’ll ever see it come to life has been cried out more than a few times. Listening for the answer, it has always come back the same…”No, it’s not the end. Keep watching and waiting.” Every time that’s happened, we’ve had to make the decision to keep hoping, despite the bleak season that surrounds us. But it’s an active hope, not one of idle waiting.
Back to the Beginning
We begin by going back to the beginning. We go back to the Creator of all things, the One who set His plans for us in motion, and we retrace history, the testimonies of the past. Our faith is fortified when it’s cultivated in the environment that’s been previously established in the lives of men and women like Joseph, Moses, Hannah, Simeon or Paul, or myriad other saints over the centuries whose stories have been preserved for our edification. Their experiences (the good and the bad) and the reminders of God’s faithfulness to see His plans come to fruition, infuse us with new strength that transcends all that limits our view and understanding of how things may appear at the present.
If winter hasn’t yet given way to the spring you’re hoping for, find strength to persevere in the garden of forget-Me-not. Stroll through past seasons, and remember that God’s faithfulness is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. His plans for you are not forgotten.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28)