Hope, New Life, Spring!
By Leslie Schonfeld
Ah, Spring. Just saying it helps my body relax. The scent of a warm breeze blows through the house, crocuses push their heads up through the ground, and a bird sings in the trees, all signs that spring is coming. Inside of me a familiar feeling begins to speak to my spirit. Hope is rising once again. Somewhat dormant throughout winter, it awakes with the coming of a new season. Spring promises new life.
A highlight in our house is the return of the peepers in our backyard pond. These frogs wriggle their way out of the mud as the environment around them warms. Constant croaking fills the air as they search for mates to continue their cycle of life. Buckets in hand, my children tromp down to the waters edge to see who can catch the most. My youngest announced the other day, “I pulled out my frog catching pants Mom. I’m ready when they are”.
I wonder, do we anticipate our interaction with people the way my daughter anticipates the frogs? Do we recognize that each new day offers opportunity to bring spring into the life of the people around us? CS Lewis wrote in his sermon The Weight of Glory, “You have never talked to mere mortals”. Every person we come in contact with has an eternal destination. Marvel at that, each individual is created in the image of God. We may not see much evidence of this but we know “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. (NAS)
Each new day is a gift. “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22, 23 (NAS). Imagine the impact on our community if each day we determined to do our part in God’s plan. Before we even step out of bed we ask the Lord to show us where He wants us to work today. How different we may see each person in our day to day life if we saw God’s reflection in them. We may not see changes in them but we would never lose hope. "For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverence we wait eagerly for it." Romans 8:2, 2 (NAS) Like the promise of Spring we hope and pray for new life to flow from heaven to earth. When we respond to God’s direction an amazing thing happens. Not only does new life grow in those we reach out to but it also grows in us.
New Life comes in many forms. Birth of a baby, recovery from illness, and the acceptance of Christ are all examples of this. As I pondered this I realized we all can affect the birth of hope that leads to new life. Through prayer, encouragement, and support of local ministries, we help deliver the life giving message that produces hope. Hope in turn, encourages faith and faith in Jesus produces life. What a beautiful word picture that produces! Each of us have a part directly or indirectly to paint a masterpiece of hope created by our heavenly Father.