I opened the windows today. Outside, the birds are singing, there are leaves on the trees, the bushes we planted last summer have come back to life and my allergies are in full swing. It looks and feels like Spring out there.
People always talk about the new beginnings that come with Spring. Flowers bloom. Grass turns from brown to green. Leaves return to the trees. People emerge from their houses.
If I’m honest, I want all of this to happen as soon as the snow melts. I immediately want to see all the signs of new beginnings. But it doesn’t happen immediately. We have to be patient and wait through the fifth season, “Sprinter?”.
Maybe this year will be different
I have stared at our backyard countless times over the last few months wondering if this would be the year that our grass just didn’t come back to life. It felt like it wasn’t turning green as quickly as the yards around us.
So many thoughts went through my mind. Maybe we had not watered it enough last summer. Maybe we watered it too much. Maybe we should have had those professionals come and fertilize last year instead of doing it ourselves. This is our 4th Spring living in this house, and I was convinced that our grass has greened up sooner in past years.
Then about a week ago, suddenly the grass was green. It happened. I just had to be patient and wait.
We have two maple trees in our front yard. I love trees so much and can’t wait to see leaves back on the branches. Every spring I assume I’ll see little green leaves right away. Because that’s what the leaves look like all summer, it makes complete sense in my mind. Yet when the leaves started sprouting, they were brown. They reminded me of the leaves that had dropped to the ground last fall. Again, I was sure something had gone awry with our trees over the winter. But once again, God showed His power in turning something that seemed dead into new life. When I looked outside last weekend I noticed that the leaves had in fact turned green.
The Waiting Season of Life
I’ve heard people associate the seasons with seasons of life. Maybe it’s a time of being carefree (Summer) or change (Fall) or rest (Winter) or new life (Spring). While I was outside pulling some weeds this morning, I was thinking about the seasons of life and how we don’t always pay enough attention to the in-between times – specifically “Sprinter”.
Maybe you are ready for the next thing to come in your life. Maybe you know exactly what it is -- a move, a job change, a wedding, a baby.
But maybe you don’t.
Maybe each day you are waking up just waiting for some sign of green, but you keep seeing brown and you’re worried that this is the year it’s not going to happen.
You’re Not the Only One
Have you ever watched the sunrise? During college one summer, I lived in New Hampshire one block from the beach. At the end of the summer, my friends and I all set alarms to get up early and go to watch the sunrise – something we had yet to do together. We got to the beach when it was still dark, and settled in to wait. While the sky started to brighten and the darkness of the night disappeared, we had yet to see the sun come up over the horizon. We waited and waited and for a moment I wondered, “Maybe it’s just not going to come up today”.
And then it rose. It happened. Where a moment before there had been no sun, there was a sun.
As we walked from the beach over to the Dunkin Donuts that many of us had worked at all summer, I shared with some of my friends that I had thought that the sun might not come up today. Of course, I prefaced it with the fact that I knew I was being silly. But here’s the thing – other people had felt the same way. We were being honest with each other and it was comforting to know that others had felt the same way I did.
You don’t have to wait alone.
How often are we honest with each other that waiting is hard? Sometimes I feel like I lack faith when I admit that it’s hard to wait for something. I convince myself that those with the strongest faith have no problem in the in-between – even when they have no idea what is coming next. Satan really likes to plant seeds of doubt in our minds.
God calls us to trust in Him, and we know we can because He is faithful. Even so, I think we add the part that says we must go through each day like we’re strolling through a park on a perfect summer’s eve. Sometimes waiting is hard. It’s OK to be honest with each other – that’s why God made us to live in community with one another.
For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Psalm 108:4
Let’s share with others when we are going through different seasons of life. When are you carefree? When are you going through change? When are you needing to rest? When has new life sprung? But let’s also walk alongside each other in those in-between times. When we aren’t sure what’s happening next and maybe feel impatient, but we know God is still in control and still good.
Because when we share with each other the hardships, the pain, the discouragement, it gives those around us a chance to be the body of Christ. It gives them the chance to come alongside us and support us and encourage us. God created us to be in community and community thrives when we are honest with one another, when we serve one another, and when we receive support and encouragement from one another.
If you are waiting and you have yet to see signs that life is returning, keep looking. God is always at work, preparing things for what is to come. It’s just that sometimes we can’t understand it while He’s doing it. We don’t see the change until it’s in full bloom right in front of our very eyes.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19