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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Winter vs. Spring

Yesterday, it felt as if winter and spring were in a fight.  Old Man Winter stayed in the battle, spitting his fury in the way of snow and freezing precipitation while spring taunted him from the horizon thrusting the sun through his dreary black clouds.  They warred all day.  Winter spread an icy layer over cars and rooftops while in barns and pastures spring continued to bring forth new life. Despite winter’s chill that forced us to pull up our collars, spring commanded the fat Robins to sing and build their nests.
     Winter tries desperately to display his might in these last days of battle.  But Spring - she is fresh and full of energy and approaches will full speed.  She will reign victorious (maybe as soon as Thursday according to the weather man).  This fight takes place every year.  We tolerate Winter, sometimes we even enjoy it, but eventually we grow tired of it and no matter how hard we try to wish it away – it lingers.  We crave Spring and all its splendor – the warmth, new life, fresh growth, the segue to summer!  And guess what? Eventually spring will reign victorious and conquer winter and we are satisfied…for a time.
     Friends, this reminds me of the forces that war in my soul all too frequently.  I allow that cold and dark to creep in.  Admittedly, I even revel in it at times.  But it grows old. The dark engulfs me, and I can’t find the light.  I crave the light, but the dark wants to stay and puts up a fight.  All the time, the Light, beckons me out of the dark, but I can’t quite seem to make it there.  I feel as if I’m trudging, still holding loosely to the hand of sin but reaching with fingers open wide and arm fully extended for the grip of my Savior. 
     Do you ever feel this way? Am I the only one that finds myself calling out to God to bring back the springtime in my soul?  I don’t think I’m alone in this battle.  As Christians, we know the journey isn’t going to be easy.

John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me. you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble, but TAKE HEART, I have overcome the world!”  

     This verse recognizes the ugliness of winter while beautifully proclaiming the promise of spring! He has already overcome the world.  What great hope that gives us. 
     Our pastor defined hope this past Sunday as the expectation that all will be well.  That is our ultimate goal, isn’t it, when enduring the battle of dark vs. light in our life? We desire for it to be “Well with our souls”. 
     The world is loaded with trouble and because of our human nature we get tangled up in its masses.  But God is in the business of untangling and rescuing us from the net of sin and darkness that has trapped us.

1 Corinthians 15:57 says “Thanks be to God.  He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 
      I forget sometimes that the victory is already mine.  I don’t have to dwell in the winters of my soul – spring has already sprung!  It sprang up on the cross…for me…for my sin…because of His great love. 
     Our identity is not in the circumstances that surround us.  Don’t let the darkness in life define you and rob you of your joy. Be faithful. Trust. Hope. Invite Jesus to shed His light on your darkness, grasp His hand tightly and let Him take the lead. He has already overcome!! He has already taken away the cold and dark of sin.  His hope springs eternal! Claim the Victory today! Battle over! 

But HE was pierced for our transgressions. HE was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon HIM and by HIS wounds WE ARE HEALED!  Is 53:5