The newness of life

Those of us who live in Texas are already enjoying the beginning of spring. The trees have begun to bud and the bulbs are shooting up with the promise of the flowers we will soon enjoy. And the ground is covered with pollen making everyone sneeze. (Not everything is perfect about spring in Texas!)

It’s hard not to smile when we look around at all God is able to produce from the earth, shrubs, and trees that only a few weeks ago looked dead. God’s creation is one of the best illustrations of God’s character. He is represented in all four seasons because each has a unique meaning and purpose for our lives. 

Jesus spoke with the Apostle John on the island of Patmos saying, “I am making everything new!” Then Jesus told John, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:5). Jesus had just told John about the perfection of heaven and all that God’s people could look forward to when they gained their eternal lives. Jesus told John to write down all that he said about heaven because his words were “trustworthy and true.” 

Imagine the hope those words gave John, an elderly man living in exile and enduring hardship and pain each day. No matter what we possess on earth, it doesn’t compare with the riches of heaven. No matter what we face in our earthly lives, we have a great and powerful hope because of Christ. 

Our lives have seasons too

God is always inching us closer to heaven, the place where we will truly have the peace-filled life he wants for us. Heaven is the place where we will finally comprehend how much we are loved by our Creator.  

The hope of heaven is as real as the hope of each spring. Aren’t you glad we can celebrate Easter this time of year? God’s timing is exquisite. Jesus “looked” dead when they placed his body in the tomb, but the only thing that had died was the power of sin. Christians emerge from the baptismal waters to witness to the world that they have been made new.  

Our faith practices shout to the world that Jesus was raised from the dead and, through faith, that can be true for everyone. Each spring season is the chance to remember we are one year closer to our final, eternal rebirth. 

A new focus

I like this quote from a character named Socrates in Way of the Peaceful Warrior: “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” 

Most of us look forward to each season and the promise of change. As wonderful as spring is, we look forward to the warm days of summer. When we grow tired of the heat and dried-up flowers, we are presented with the amazing colors of the fall. And, after the fullness of the fall season fades and the lights of the holidays are boxed up, we rejoice at the quiet simplicity of the winter months. 

When we embrace the changes in life, we enjoy the God who provides each season. This world is a reminder that change is an inevitable gift provided by our unchanging God. God never changes because he is perfect and doesn’t need to change. Our world tells a much different story.  

It’s good to gain a new focus with each season of the year and with every season of our lives. God will always step into our plans with his will to “make everything new” again. His plan is to prosper us and not to harm us as Jeremiah 29:11 makes clear.  

God gave us this season

It might surprise you to know that I struggle every Easter to embrace the joy. I’m actually grateful for the Monday after Easter Sunday. It breaks my heart to remember all that Jesus endured to provide for our celebration. In many ways, the Easter story is about the price paid for our sins. I’m sad Easter Sunday was necessary. I don’t ever want to forget that the majority of the Easter story was incredibly difficult for everyone who loved Jesus. 

We can’t know the depth of God’s love for us until we understand the depth of his commitment to us. God gave us his Son. God gave us Easter. God gave us spring as our annual reminder that only he can give life to what was dead. 

God holds our future. He doesn’t reveal it.

The disciples would probably describe the days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday as the most difficult week of their lives. In the space of one week, joy turned to fear, fear to distress, distress to anguish, and then anguish to uncertainty. It would be a while before uncertainty turned to joy. Our future will have each of those emotions as well. 

I like this quote from the Christian author Bob Goff: “Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” It might be a surprise to some but the title is often the most difficult part of what we author. Oftentimes, my title changes as a blog post, Bible study, or book evolves. 

The same is true with life. We think we know our direction and then God guides us to a different place. How is your life different from your past thoughts, goals, or dreams? 

God doesn’t reveal our future but instead holds it in the palm of his hand. He feeds our life with breadcrumbs, one direction at a time. Christians know our destination, but we each have our own path to take in order to arrive there.  

We know the next season will come, but we don’t know what we will be doing when it arrives. As Bob Goff suggested, we should “embrace” the uncertainty. Each chapter can’t really be titled until it has been lived. 

Enjoy spring but meditate on Easter

Once again, Jesus is making all things new. Enjoy watching the trees bud and the bulbs send out their flowers. But, don’t forget to grab a tissue before your afternoon walk. It’s spring (at least here in Texas)! If you live in Wyoming, think of this blog post as a promise for your future. 

For all of us, it’s time to do some deep thinking about all this season meant to our Lord. Jesus came so that one day we could leave this changing world and enter the perfection God has always wanted for his creation.  

Let every hint of spring serve to remind us that God can give life to what was dead. Let’s embrace the changes of life and the newness of each season knowing that each one moves us a little closer to our promise of eternal joy. 

Jesus said, “I am making everything new!” 

Those words are trustworthy truth all of us can embrace.