everything in birmingham is really, really green this year. some days, especially on Wednesday and Friday mornings on the third floor of Beeson, i sit and i just stare out the windows at the hills, and mountains, and valleys, covered in trees and new green growth. for a few months, the entire world seemed bleak and dark and dead. the grass was yellow and scratchy, and the branches were bare.  even today, as the twins walked through the yard, i saw an immediate difference in the soft grass, in the flowers blooming, in the trees giving shade.

life is a beautiful thing.  growth and green plants and flowers and shade and new creation.  it’s this endless reminder to me of the life-death-rebirth cycle. of Christ’s own life and death, who died so that we could all be made new. of the times when i feel discouraged, trapped in my own sin and stupidity, lost, unsure of which way is up, not sure if anything will ever be as it should be…it’s a part of the cycle.  we’re promised suffering, because this world isn’t our home. but we’re also promised new life in Christ–and that new life is in the already, not yet.

it’s not fully realized.  it’s not completely our own.  we still struggle with sinfulness, and attitudes, and peace, and having our own way, and being fallen humans.  and yet there’s a promise that even now God is redeeming this mess of a world, that he is sovereign in it, that he will bring growth through trials and difficulties.  that he will sanctify me and will wrench from my weak and cruel hands control, and make himself known as the true giver of life.

i’m thankful for this time of year because, as spring approaches, it is as if all natures waits in anticipation, holding its breath for what is to come.  it knows what to expect. it knows what gifts will be lavished on it–how in a twinkling of an eye, it will be changed and be made new.  even now, that should be my hope. waiting, in anticipation, in wonder, of what God will do next–and how beautiful, and green, and growing, and perfect forever with him will be.

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