All winter long I’m thinking about spring. Oh, I’m always looking for something new to see or write about, but my heart is counting the days until the little green leaves and shoots start appearing and the tiny wildflowers poke up their happy faces. In a way, I’m holding my breath until finally one day, with a happy sigh, I can say, it’s here!
Once we cross over from the last day of winter and I see the signs of spring beginning to appear, I’m out with my camera recording every tiny change. One of the things I do each year is to mark down on a calendar what birds I see migrating and when the wildflowers and trees begin to flower. Both the birds and the flowers seem to have an internal clock. I suspect we do too, but since we have calendars, we don’t think about it much. Absent a calendar, I think we would be more like the birds and flowers.
One of the things I remember the most about living here during graduate school at UNC was that like Camelot, spring arrives March 1 on the dot. The daffodils poke out their sunny faces and the flowering trees burst into bloom. This year we are about three weeks behind from where we were last year. I didn’t imagine that winter was longer, it was.
It seems that the weeds have the spring advantage. The wild honeysuckle vine may look dead, but shoots and leaves start appearing even when the air is still chilly. Then the wild rose and other thorny bushes and vines start pushing out their buds into leaves. It takes about ten days of warm weather for the jewelweed and false sunflowers to start emerging from the marsh. In the meantime, the maple saplings are flowering, and some of the other trees are putting out their spring flowers. By the time the Bradford pears and cherry trees are blooming, the wildflowers start to appear in the forest.
What is it about spring that so captivates us? Perhaps it is a reminder that He makes all things new. We become new creatures in Christ, shedding the winter of our pasts.* And we grow and blossom in the warmth of His love. Just as the flowers don’t open when its cloudy but wait for the warmth of the sun, we flourish with His love and tender care.
Spring starts a new season in the year. It’s a reminder that we get a new start every day. I love the passage from the Song of Solomon that says, “See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.”** The birds are definitely singing more these days, as am I. The rains are over . . . well not yet.
Spring is also the time of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, winter and spring in three days. We celebrate the promise on the day He arose from the dead that He would never leave or forsake us. A promise that lasts throughout every season, but we celebrate it on Easter morning each year. It is the permanent song that He puts in my heart.
Spring is also a yearly reminder that the Lord promises to make everything new when He establishes His kingdom here. So just as we wait throughout winter for the first sign of spring, we wait and long for the day when He will make the entire earth new, never again corrupted with evil or sin. A beautiful, fruitful flowering planet for us to enjoy throughout eternity.
“And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’”
Revelation 21:5 NIV
* 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
**Song of Solomon 2:11-12 NIV