Thursday, February 12, 2015

In His Time

Several years ago, a friend who lives in Nevada said, “We have five inches of snow on the ground—and more on the way."

“Well, then," I said, "I won’t e-mail you the spring photos I’d planned to send you. I wouldn’t want you to think I was saying, ‘Ha! Ha! We have spring and you don’t!’”

   “Oh, I wouldn’t think that!” she replied. “Go ahead and send the photos. They’ll encourage me!”

   As I scrolled through dozens of digital photos I’d uploaded to my computer, I had a hard time deciding which ones to send. I finally settled on five.

   When I checked my e-mail the following morning, her reply was waiting for me. “The pictures are just gorgeous. Thanks for sending them.  Makes spring feel a little closer for me.”

I knew she was as eager for spring as I was! Early in February I began going outside frequently to check for signs of spring. Once they began appearing, I was so excited. I took pictures, pictures, and more pictures of the daffodils, of the delicate blooms on the flowering almond tree, and of anything and everything that had color!

I don’t know if I could stand to wait until late March or April or perhaps early June for spring to arrive, as folks in colder climates have to do. I’m sure I, like everyone else, would be asking, “Will it ever be spring?”

After the chilly, dreary days of winter, we long for spring, for signs of new life, for splashes of color, for warmer temperatures that we can end our hibernation and get out and about once again.

We long for the time when we can say, “…the winter is past, and the rain is over and gone. The flowers are springing up, and the time of singing birds has come…The fig trees are budding, and the grapevines are in blossom. How delicious they smell! Yes, spring is here!” (Song of Songs, 2:11-13a.)

But sometimes we feel stuck in one season—in life, as well as in nature—don’t we? For example, children often feel they’ll be children forever! They long to grow up and do the things big people do. Likewise, people who are battling an illness may see no end to that season.

Whenever we’re feeling stuck in a season, it’s good to remind ourselves of this truth: “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest…A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance… ” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4).

Although we enjoy some seasons more than others, we benefit from experiencing a variety of seasons and cycles, else the Creator wouldn’t have designed them. In fact, we need the harshness and bleakness of winter in order to appreciate the warmth and beauty of spring. As 17th century poet Anne Bradstreet pointed out, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

So…whatever time, whatever season, we find ourselves in, especially if we’re feeling stuck in it, let’s follow David’s example and humbly say to God, “My times are in thy hand…” (Psalm 31:15, KJV). And then wait patiently for Him to provide the next season--in His time.

© 2012 by Johnnie Ann Burgess Gaskill,

Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quoted is from the New Living Translation.

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