spring time

Since moving to Michigan I have learned to really appreciate spring. In South Florida it was just another three months on the calendar leading up to the dog days of summer. But here in Michigan it is a time of excitement and creativity. This is going to sound a little corny, but it is a time of rebirth when everything is fresh and new with endless possibilities.

For me, there is no place this is demonstrated more emphatically than in yard work. Yard work is not one of my favorite activities but I don’t mind it because it causes me to slow down and reflect. It provides me with a sense of accomplishment as well.

As I was working in the backyard recently I noticed the new shoots on one of the trees. They were tender and delicate but were very much a reminder to me of the endless possibilities provided by a new season; a new springtime. The fact is, all around those new shoots were the signs of other new seasons. Some of those seasons ended very successfully. The new shoots grew to become branches that reached toward the sky. They provide shelter for the birds, support for bird feeders and wind chimes and, most importantly, shade for my hammock!

However, there were signs of not so successful seasons as well. They were the stumps and knots produced by adversity and pruning, the result of a new beginning that took a wrong turn or just started in the wrong place at the wrong time.

All of this is, of course, a reminder to us of the new seasons of our lives and ministries. Some of them have been great seasons of productivity and fruitfulness. Others… well, let’s just say, not so much!

The challenge is to continue to cultivate the tender branches that God produces in our lives. We must nurture them, sustain them, and, yes, even at times allow God to prune them for maximum fruitfulness. We must never grow hard or jaded but always remember that God, according to scripture, is a God of “new things”.


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