“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me…to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor…to comfort all who mourn…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV.
Depending on where you live, you may have noticed “spring has sprung!” In the region where I live, we experienced a warmer than usual winter. Cherry trees blossomed in January; daffodils popped up in February along with tulips and flowering bushes of every kind; then, overnight, winter returned, and I feared we would lose everything to the frost.
Temperatures have warmed up once again, and to my delight, the very trees that bloomed early are blooming once again. The daffodils look healthy and vibrant and are even more plentiful than before. Color and new life are everywhere I look.
In the deepest, darkest months of winter, when I look out into my garden, the ground is bare. Everything looks dead. It seems I have to remind myself year after year; the garden looked the same way last year.
The days of our lives are a lot like my garden; sometimes it appears as though the foundations of our faith are hardened by the lack of forgiveness, goodness, and faithfulness. We feel our ability to love others grow cold. Are we to give up on the hope that all can be restored? In the winter months, if I judged my garden by its appearance, the hope of new growth would seem worthless, but God is always at work to bring beauty out of ashes.
On a dark and stormy hill, Jesus hung and died on a Roman cross. To His followers, everything appeared lost and hopeless. For three long days darkness prevailed. Then, stepping out of the grave, Jesus embodied the promise when He declared, “It is finished!” John 19:30, NIV.
Friend, don’t ever doubt the power of God’s love for you. If He is faithful to restore my garden to new life, every year, He will do the same for you and me into eternity. Jesus is the Author of new life!
Sweet Sherry Sharp