Dear Fellow Children of God,
The chores I indulged in early this Friday morning may seem mundane and even dirty. I picked up some more trash in the yard, trash that is now visible as the snow is melting. I raked up the waste our dog and the neighborhood dogs have left on our lawn during the past winter, and threw shovels full of animal waste into the woods. I took out the summer tires so they can replace the snow tires on our vehicles. And (this is perhaps the most exciting) I took out the deck furniture and placed it around the gas grill. All of these chores are a sign that the seasons are changing.
What a winter we had the last 6 months – record amounts of snow mixed with normal Alaskan winter temperatures! There are still drifts in my yard. In fact, I was at the home of my son, Andrew, on Thursday night. Andy has a hill in his yard that faces North. There is still 3-4 FEET of snow waiting to melt on that hill in front of his house! It’s not that I don’t like winter. I actually enjoy being outdoors during the winter. This past winter I spent time ice fishing, skiing, and riding a snow-machine. But there is something wonderful about the arrival of Spring and the start of another growing season and summer.
Seasons are not only God’s idea. Seasons are God’s promise. In Genesis 8:22 God tells Noah, "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." The re-awakening of Spring-time is God’s plan. The fullness of life experienced in the Summer is God’s idea. The harvest and slowing down of the Fall - after a summer full of work is God’s promise. And the rest and slumber of winter is God’s wisdom. These seasons all talk to us about God’s hand in the world around us. No matter what the changes are in our lives, God is in control.
There is a part of the human mind and heart that feels uncomfortable with change, whether the change is growing old or the advent of a computer driven society. Some wish we could live in a perpetual Alaskan Summer. Some long for the old days when people communicated face to face instead of through a text-message. Some may wish the kids were still at home. Change can be uncomfortable. And while some change may be good, some brings problems and trouble too.
But, the change of seasons reminds us of two truths of life as a child of God. First of all, no matter what the change, God is still Lord of the universe. The change of the seasons is God’s idea. The new life of Spring following a harsh winter is God’s idea, in part to remind us that He is constantly bringing new life into a dead world. The Lord of love and righteousness is also the Lord of the universe. Thank you, Lord! Secondly, change reminds me that I never will get totally comfortable with this world, and that is good. Some change, like the arrival of Spring, seems comfortable. But some change is very uncomfortable. I am not meant to find ultimate rest in this world. This world is not my eternal home. God’s plan and desire is that heaven is our home in the eternal presence of the Lord.
There are tulip leaves pushing up in our front yard. Red rhubarb is peaking out from under the dead leaves of last summer. And today I even noticed some raspberry shoots poking through the dirt on the hill in back of our house. Spring is here. And, in all the changes of life God in His love and power is in control.
A Child of God, Thankful for the beginning of Spring.
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am always adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you don’t want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message. . . Or, if you know someone who would like to receive one of these e-mails, please send me their e-mail address.