Thursday, January 12, 2017

spring is coming

at my parents' house in nashville you can look out of the windows at the front of the house and see trees. LOTS of trees. this particular break when i was home it was striking just how bare they were, but i couldn't put my finger on why i kept noticing these trees. there was nothing particularly beautiful about them. not long after that i stumbled across a video of a woman telling a story that hit me like a ton of bricks...

"i was sitting out on my deck one day in my backyard... when the trees are barren, they're barren. the holy spirit said, 'don't you love how far you can see? don't you love the clarity that winter brings?... do you feel anxiety in the trees? do they feel anxious that they'll never have leaves or bloom again? of course they don't. there is a confidence and a security here. do not misinterpret this season.'"

how ridiculous it would be to run into the woods in the middle of winter and yell at the trees, "don't worry!! you will bloom again!" you would never do that, because the trees are so rooted and grounded. the trees understand that a season of barrenness and rest is an essential precursor to their inevitable harvest and fruitfulness.

i think we have a lot to learn from the trees. (that's the most hippie thing i've ever said.) God deeply desires to help us grow our roots in Him, in utter trust and dependence that we too, no matter how hopeless and confusing our circumstances seem, will experience life once again. seasons of barrenness and emptiness feel as if they will last an eternity, but the Lord is FAITHFUL to redeem these seasons.

the only way He can build this rootedness in us is by taking us through a process where He places us in situations, continually asking us, "do you trust Me?" each time we can respond with "yes God, i trust you." our root system grows a little bit more. and then we begin to thrive.

i am so eager for 'spring' to come, but i also do not want to misinterpret this season. my biggest temptation is to rush ahead because of my expectation for what's to come next.. but there is still so much to learn in these days and these moments. it's all beautiful. he enters into our barrenness and empty feelings and the unknown and the mess. he sits with us, beckoning us to trust him. he is writing his story. i don't want to miss any of it.

"in the spring i know Your joy and laughter, 
in the summer I know Your abundant love.
in fall i know Your smile overflowing into colors,
but in winter, i know Your faithfulness, God. 
i shed only what is temporary
and my truest self comes forth, bare before You
i stand in all my weakness and frailty.
and yet, You remain.
you never let go of me, never.
yes, winter sings of Your faithfulness,
declares Your faithfulness
to my rawest self. You sow yourself
and stand with me. You never leave, never.
yes, there is no season more fruitful than winter,
for here i fall into the depths of God
and discover i am cradled by a faithfulness 
that never stops giving.
what a privilege to know You in winter, God." 
-rosemary gingerich

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