Then He showed a river of the water of life, clear as crystal,
coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street.
On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kind of fruit, yielding its fruit every month;
and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Winter has never won the battle of the seasons, but this year it seemed to have its cold, gnarly fingers firmly clamped around the ground and my heart. The garden lay in dead disarray. My life followed a similar trend. Heartrending situations with my family and friends gripped us in an icy chill of relentless drama and tragedy.
Faith ran daily to the window to look for signs of life on my horizon. It was usually met with gray skies and new storms. It seriously looked like spring itself had given up and taken off for a long southern vacation.
Then I began to notice that although the storms still buffeted us, spring seemed to have a change of heart and decided to show up, after all. It was still cold, and uninviting outside my window. I was delighted to discover that the daffodils had gotten the memo, though, along with the hyacinths.
Once it decided to commit to a change of seasons, spring braved the weather and cued the greenery. The cold raised a challenge with a blast of hail. Tender life, having gained new courage, marched forward to undaunted.
Every year, the battle for renewal rages in the earth. Each year, death appears to triumph over the promise of resurrection along with our dreams. We know, however, that life always wins.
Today it is gray and cold again here. But I can look out my window and see that spring is going to conquer. In fact, it already has. My garden is blooming.
There are still parts of my life which haven’t felt the sun’s warm rays. I tell my impatient heart that renewal is on its way. God encourages us to look not to the daily storms, but the inevitable thaw what will arrive.
Winter will end. Spring will come.