Winters where I live often trespass into spring.
One year, we had unusually cold weather, along with heavy spring snow in April. At night, temperatures dropped into the teens, and the highs hovered in the lower thirties. Extended freezing temperatures can upset the botanical balance.
Besides an extended winter, the 2020 COVID-19 season had me feeling like a dusty coat hidden in a dark corner of the closet. So, I took advantage of a day when the sun finally lifted the temperatures. As I walked around my neighborhood, I marveled at the beauty around me in contrast with a young friend who had an oppressive incurable condition. He was overwhelmed with hopeless emotions that seemed to be stuck in a never-ending winter.
There, poking out amid dormant brown shrubs, stood a garden of bright yellow and white daffodils, surrounded by a field of blue hyacinth. I was surprised and delighted to see they had survived the recent freezes. It seemed like a small miracle.
We suffer at varying degrees—some more than others. At times, we trudge through winter seasons that continue beyond tolerance. When we come out the other side of those difficult times, the joy we feel is like seeing a miraculous spring blossom.
Jesus tells us to be willing to take up our cross daily. He is not asking us to carry a feather. A crucifix is a heavy object, and I imagine the beams He was hung upon were roughhewn wood full of splinters. Picture yourself dragging that up the side of the hill at Golgotha. But the news is not all bad. Jesus didn’t ask us to be crucified on our crosses—simply to carry them.
As I think of and pray for my young friend, I’m encouraged that winter doesn’t last forever and, when we reach the top of our Golgotha, the price of our sin has already been paid. We will arise when Jesus comes again in glory.
In a long season of winter, remember the cross points the way to a future of eternal spring.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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