The act of writing, of sharing the circumstances, the gifts and the graces planned and carried out by my Savior and God brings joy, peace, and contentment to know that He has my life in His hands. My prayer for those who read, who share in what I continue to learn each day, many times through my weakness, is that you will be encouraged to look for God's presence and grace in your life also.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Graces after Winter

Grace...... such a little word and yet so real in our everydays.
    Grace....... what I'm given that I don't deserve, can't earn, can't even anticipate.
        But it is a gift given that many times I don't see....    
               because I am distracted, self-absorbed, blinded by fake gold and false promises.

Grace.... for me in the Spring is flowers everywhere after the white, cold, and barrenness of Winter. Evidences of the Resurrection that we celebrate is seen all around us as the earth comes back to life after the death knolls of winter.

I am so glad that Spring in our hemisphere is the time of new life in creation...going right along with the celebration of the empty tomb and because of that the new life we have through Jesus Christ.

First a poem, and I do love poetry, from the same brother in Christ who wrote "Amazing Grace", wrote this:

Kindly Spring
Kindly spring again is here
Trees and fields in bloom appear; 
 hark! the birds with artless lays
Warble their creator's praise. 

Where in winter all was snow,
Now the flowers in clusters grow;
And the corn, in green array,
Promises a harvest-day.

Lord, afford a spring to me,
Let me feel like what I see;
Speak, and by thy gracious voice,
Make my drooping soul rejoice.

On thy garden deign to smile,
Raise the plants, enrich the soil;
Soon thy presence will restore
Life to what seemed dead before.
John Newton 1725-1807

What a wonderful promise we have... that just as Spring brings new life to the Creator's earth, so too
He will continue to restore us, to give renewed faith and love when we have been depleted by life in this broken world.

I do get tired.  Just when I think I have this all figured out, just when I think I am doing pretty good handling what I have been given... change comes, life gets turned upside down and for whatever reason I try to fix it myself instead of laying down, looking up, and focusing on my Grace Giver, my resurrected Savior who gave me new life by sacrificing His own.

You would think after all these years of care giving, I would remember that I can't do it myself, I can't fix anything--after all I couldn't even save myself because I was dead. It is only as His Spirit in me reminds me, whispers in my soul that I begin to look for God's presence, love, grace. As I am grateful for His grace, the new growth appears.

And when I look, when I pay attention,
    God is all around me,
         but the truth is
                the winter must come first for me to really notice the spring.

These days you will find me out in my yard, and it is a big one as my oldest son reminds me often, doing what I love to do. There is something about being outside that is grace in itself. Being able to anticipate what the view will be in just a few short weeks... the smells, the colors, the sounds.

You will find me turning the soil over in my garden, planting seeds and plants, applying needed nutrients around worn out plants, cleaning out all the garbage that has piled up including pine needles, pine cones, weed skeleton leftovers from last year.

And I find as I immerse myself in His Word, His truth; when I spend time with Him, praying, listening, being, as He pours in nutrients that I need and His water flows to my thirst; As I ask Him to remove the garbage, and to grow in me the fruits of the Spirit, the striving, the worry, the discontent eases.

Sometimes, especially while I'm on my knees, I marvel in absolute wonder, at the work God is doing all around me, right in front of my eyes, and I thank Him for the work He is doing in me.

If there is one thing I've learned in my life, it is that Spring comes every year, every single year.

And likewise in my life, Winter comes, but right behind it is Spring waiting to show her beautiful face and renew my spirit as the evidence of the resurrection, of life being born out of death is all around me.

One more poem:

After the Winter
As spring the winter doth succeed
And leaves the naked trees do dress,
The earth all black is clothed in green.
At sunshine each their joy express.

My suns's returned with healing wings,
My soul and body doth rejoice,
My heart exults and praises sings
To hi that heard my wailing voice.

My winter's past, my storms are gone,
And former clouds seem now all fled, 
But if they must eclipse again,
I'll run where I was succoured.

I have a shelter from the storm,

A shadow from the fainting heat,
I have access unto his throne,
Who is  God so wondrous great.

O hath thou made my pilgrimage
Thus pleasant, fair, and good,
Blessed me in youth and elder age,
My Baca* made a springing flood.

O studious arm what I shall do
To show my duty with delight;
All I can give is but thine own
And at the most a simple mite.
Anne Bradstreet 1612-1672
*baca: valley of weeping

Linking up with Kara at Tuesday's Grace Letters

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