Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Promise of a Return

**This is an article from last spring. Forgot to post it.

Last fall, my husband brought home a sack full of bulbs to add to the tagless bunch someone else left on my front porch. Knowing that my gardening skills are definitely below par, I obediently hid my little onion looking treasures barely beneath the surface of the soil on either side of my porch- just as my instincts told me. I wasn’t sure how deep or far apart to dive my stout bulbs, so I guessed and hoped. (Don’t forget, I’m just following the guts of a gardening failure since my unidentifiable bulbs arrived without so much as a picture!)

During the last few weeks of a wet and mushy winter, I could tell spring was coming and my anticipation of my science experiment working began to build. I was forced to endure a bit longer to greet my little unknowns and learn if I had hidden this summer’s onion crop or a lovely bunch of colorful flowers of some sort. My daily check-in turned into a weekly glance and my excitement turned into boredom. I began to question my belief that such a ruddy looking thing could turn into something so brilliant.

Then one day, I saw it. I located the tiniest little bud of my still unidentifiable plant life breaking through the surface of the soil and pushing past the mulch. It was actually working! I couldn’t believe it.

Each spring reveals the hidden growth that occurred during the cold of winter. The warm and hydrating days allow concealed strengths to become apparent. I love anticipating the promise of a return of spring and little bulbs each year. I get excited when I see my annuals doubling in size while they dormantly slept veiled by winter. They sprout up stronger and broader each time they are allowed to rest and renew.

Just like my unidentifiable bulbs, we too can trust that God will reveal himself in us in due time. We can cling to the promise that he will protect and allow growth to occur during times of hiding or hardships. We can believe that a renewal is coming because we know what lies beneath the surface of our hearts. And since we are familiar with the good gardener, we can anticipate growth and beauty in ways we can’t imagine.

Renewal can be seen so clearly all across the Bible. In the Old Testament, David prayed for a heart renewal when he said, “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10) and then thanked God when he wrote, “You send forth your Spirit…and renew the face of the earth.” (Ps.104:30) Isaiah recognized God’s make-over abilities when he wrote, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength” (Is.40:31) And finally, my favorite renewing promise, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away...Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev.21:3-5)

So can that ruddy looking thing turn into something so brilliant and beautiful in us as well as my front flowerbed? Yes, with faith and in time, our “good gardener” is trustworthy and able. He has promised to renew us make all things new! Keep waiting. Keep resting and growing in your winter season. Keep clinging to the promise of renewal and replenishment. Soon, the time is coming when God will pull your buds through too and he will make all things new!

Rest is good.
Replenishment is good.
Renewal is good.
And a promise of a return is more than good.

No comments: