Over the last few years, I’ve grown increasingly fond of fall. Its brilliant colors, inviting aromas and cooler days bring merriment and memories. It is, however, the forerunner to dreaded winter (at least for this native southern gal!). As such, spring is still my season of choice.
I love spring’s invitation to the great outdoors. Longer hours of daylight, and warmer weather offer a much-needed change of pace from the dreary days of winter. Opportunities abound to see something new waking up and peeking out. But beneath these obvious surface-level changes, something deeper is taking place.
God tells us that we can see evidence of Him and the way He intended life in His creation. His principles are intertwined everywhere. And He reveals them when we take the time to stop and look for them.
Here are 10 Ways Spring Showcases Life as God Intended:
1. There is always reason to hope.
Hope is the confidence that a particular thing will actually happen – even if you don’t how it’s possible or when. During the dark, cold days of winter, there is the hope of spring. And in the dark, lonely days life there is hope too. Hope that God is at work even when we can’t see Him. Hope that He will come through. Hope that He does not disappoint. God is, after all, the God of Hope.
2. Expectancy creates excitement.
Expectancy is a counterpart to hope, an outgrowth of it really. Children are great examples of this around Christmas or birthdays. Gardeners are too as they await the first shoots, blossoms and eventually fruit or vegetables. We too can wait expectantly for God to act. Our eyes can twinkle and smiles play on our lips as we imagine God coming to our aid. Expectancy and excitement are evidence of a robust faith in the midst of real life.
3. There is a predictable rhythm to life.
Spring comes every year. Hallelujah! Seasons come and go in a cyclical pattern no matter what. So it is with life. God doesn’t promise a life of ease. We can’t live in a season of “spring” all the time. “Winter” seasons don’t come because God abandoned you or because you didn’t live life just right. They come because that’s the way life happens. If you’re in a hard season right now, know that a different season is on the horizon. God is making a way where there seems to be no way. He will restore life and joy. And He’ll walk beside you, holding your hand while He does it.
4. Sources of joy are all around us.
For some people, winter depression lifts once spring shows up. The ability to get outside, soak up extra sunshine and Vitamin D, and get more physically active gives a break from the mundane and sparks joy in life. God gives those moments to us throughout every season – an unexpected call from a friend, a promise from His Word, an answer to prayer. During some seasons we have to look a little harder for them. But if we do, we will find them.
5. Hard work is rewarded.
If you’ve ever tended a garden or flower bed, you know the work that goes into it. The reaping of the harvest does not happen by chance, nor is it a product of laziness or carelessness. While there isn’t a one to one correspondence to our effort and God’s blessing, working to the best of our ability and daily entrusting that work to God is a biblical principle. Keep working hard – at home, in relationships, at whatever your hands find to do – even if you don’t yet see the reward of your effort. God sees. He will bring the reward in due time.
6. Life should be embraced.
The first weeks of spring are so unpredictable. Last week I built a snowman with my son in the deepest snow we had this winter. Four days later I was outside all afternoon in nearly 70-degree weather. And today the storms just keep rolling through. During spring, especially, you have to align activities with what is actually happening. There’s no sense in fighting it; you can’t win. And there’s no sense in bemoaning what you’d rather be doing. Because, truthfully, give it a few hours and it’s all going to change anyway!
So it is in life. Nothing will stick around forever. Embrace the season you’re in; get the most out of it; find something that brings joy in the midst of it. And then, after you blink a few times, embrace the next one.
7. Wonder happens when you slow down.
A preschooler’s pace of life models this perfectly. Ask me how I know! A simple stick splashed into a lake can entertain for much longer than you would ever imagine! As spring reawakens, there is a never-ending supply of amusements and discoveries – bugs, birds, budding plants. But they aren’t noticed in a hurry. It takes an observant eye and an appreciative heart to see the wonders that are all around. God places these things around us all the time, not just at spring. The wonder of new life. The wonder of Emmanuel. The wonder of God’s whispers to our souls. We need time and space to recognize God’s fingerprints in our lives and respond with amazement. And when we do, our lives are richer, fuller.
8. Enjoyment and delight are gifts from God.
During no other time of the year am I as spontaneous as during spring. Maybe that’s why it’s called “spring fever”. The time of year when it’s easy to abandon responsibility (at least temporarily) and do something for the simple pleasure that it brings. There’s a value to this. God gave us all things to richly enjoy. Spring keeps us in touch with those desires – the things that bring us joy and delight. And while it’s not wise to do only what you want when you want (remember that point above about hard work?!), it is ok to do something for the pure pleasure it brings. So, go take a walk, leave the dishes piled up, read a book, play with your kid, do something and enjoy every moment of it.
9. Nature’s beauty nurtures and refreshes our soul.
Nature reveals the invisible qualities of the Creator and draws you into His presence. Time in nature allows your soul to be still, your cares to fall away. God made the creation glorious for a reason. He designed it to showcase Himself and to remind us of His constant presence and constant care.
10. Simple living is best.
Matthew 6 gives a great picture of this from nature. Birds don’t worry about finding food. Flowers don’t anxiously toil. They don’t worry about measuring up to others. And neither should we. Life with God is simple. Loving Him. Listening to Him. Trusting Him. Following Him. Everything else is peripheral. Entrust yourself and your life to God. Remember that He is on your side and He is faithful to care for His own.
Take some time this spring to ponder the principles it showcases. God has something to whisper to your soul about how life works best. Will you take the time to listen?