Arise, Darling! Winter is Over!

We only have one that pops up in our garden each spring. But it only takes one to make me squeal like a three-year-old …

“Look! The daffodil has bloomed!”

Daffodils are one of my favorites. They are the first to bloom around here. With their perky heads and sunny faces, they trumpet promises of warmth and renewal.

2017 May 22 Daffodil

Photo courtesy of Aaron Burden @ Unsplash

God’s promises are like that, too. They trumpet hope like water in the desert, color after a long grey winter, warmth after a bone-deep chill, the beginning of a new productive season. God’s promises are like that because like the flowers we count on to bloom every spring, so God is unchanging and faithful. We can count on His promises because we can count on Him.

Yes, His promises reveal much about His character:

He’s not slow—He’s patient.
He’s bigger than any giant—and He uses the subtlest weapons.
There’s hope beyond our current difficulties—He’s with us in our difficulties.
There’s always a bigger picture—an eternal purpose.

But did you know …

His promises also reveal much about our character?

May 22 God's promises are meaningless unless they've been tested.

For example:

His promise to never leave us or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5) doesn’t much matter until we’re in a place where He seems to have vanished. We can’t see Him, hear Him, or feel Him. It’s at this point we have to discover if we trust Him even then. It’s at this point we have a choice: to let our trust grow or falter.

What about His promise to prosper us and not harm us, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)? Do we look at our future through the lens of our circumstances today or through His Word?

Then there’s His promise that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). How many times have we allowed death or life, principalities or powers, present circumstances or fear of the future, convince us otherwise?

Oh, and the one we all think we’ve passed when in truth we have failed over and over. Whoever believes in Jesus will have everlasting life (John 3:16). How many times have we acted as if our salvation depended on our performance—as if it’s something to be earned?

And there’s other promises we often fail to believe when tested. I can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). He will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19). The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). And how about, He will give life to our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11)?

I find that it’s easy to perk up when we recite God’s promises—that is until those …

promises experience a hard freeze.

And for me, mothering unattached children frequently blew the door wide open to wintry blasts. But you know what? Though I doubted, I clung like crazy to God’s promises.

I’d like to say those promises have evolved over the years. The way they materialized in the end sure looked a lot differently than I expected at the beginning. But the truth is, the promises didn’t change. My understanding of them did. My mind—my heart—is what has been transformed. And I can tell you now, the scent of those promises is much sweeter than I ever imagined.

So what’s popped up in your garden this spring?

Have you considered

… the effort it took for that sprout to push through the soil? Have you pondered what it might be like to endure a long, cold winter, buried in darkness? Do you realize that near death had to happen for new life to grow?

Oh, but you’ve experienced these things haven’t you? Yes, me, too. And that’s why we take the time to stop, gaze, touch, inhale deeply, and praise the Creator as we see His promises blossom into new life before us.

Like Solomon,

Jesus invites us to enter His spring.

May we follow.

 

“Arise, my darling,
    my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
Flowers [daffodils?] appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
    the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
    my beautiful one, come with me.”

Song of Songs 2:10-13, NIV

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A Basketful of Promises

The doorbell rang at our fairly new home.

My mom and we four little girls scurried to see who it could be. Nobody? Nobody was there. Instead we were greeted by an adorable tray of pretty purple pansies floating in little potpie-size tins.

“Look!” my mom sang. “May Day gifts for each of you girls! I wonder who they’re from?”

My memory may not be exact on this event. After all, I was only four or five years old. And it’s an experience never since repeated. Nevertheless, this one sweet moment solidified my belief that May holds a basketful of promises.

Weather warming. Colors blooming. Bare feet running through soft grass.

Mothers to honor. School days to end. Vacations to soon whisk us away.

May 1 Happy May Day!

I’ve said before that most of my writing focuses on hard stuff because I want you to feel welcomed in the midst of your own stormy weather. I want you to not feel like someone is just glossing over your pain—making light of the heavy weight you carry.

But sometimes

… we need to climb aboard the hot-air balloon that will lift us above the storms and carry us into the sunshine. Okay, so hot-air balloons don’t operate in the stormy weather, but let’s pretend they do. I suppose I could use an airplane as an example. But no, I want us to feel the sun warm our skin, smell the fresh air blow through our hair, hear the birds sing, and see the panoramic picture of all God’s really up to.

And let’s add a little taste to the scenario (got to use all five senses, you know). How about your favorite onboard snack? Hot cocoa and muffins? Coffee and chocolate? Wine and cheese? Or maybe it’s the wine and bread we need to savor. You know, that “every time you partake” reminder that all Christ did for us still meets us where we are today.

May is a good month to slow down,

… sit still, breathe deep, and savor God’s promises.

For I know the plans that I have for you … to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11, NASB

God causes all things work together for good …
Romans 8:28, NASB

I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5, NKJV

In all these things we are more than conquerors.
Romans 8:37, NKJV

Nothing can separate us from God’s love.
Romans 8:39

I can do all things through Christ.
Philippians 4:13, NKJV

In due time we shall reap …
Galatians 6:9, NASB

[May 1 What promises are sitting at your door today-

… right at your feet, peeking at you in vibrant colors?

Maybe today is a good day to open your door and take a fresh look. I’d love to enjoy their beauty with you. Would you mind sharing with me in the comment section below?