Day 3

Springtime

from the Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross reading plan


Isaiah 43:16-21, 2 Corinthians 5

BY Rebecca Faires

Text: Isaiah 43:16-21, 2 Corinthians 5:1-21

I keep seeing everyone else’s adorable pictures on Instagram of their kids and their friends playing in the snow. And even though I really have no business hauling my pregnant self out to walk on ice, I took my kids sledding this morning. And it was the worst! How do you guys do it? We were crying and falling down and fighting—by the time we left, I was done with winter. (But seriously, how do you guys do it?)

I know why my kids fight and cry, and why I curse the seasons. We are sinners. On our own, we are diametrically opposed to the way of Christ and when given the chance to be selfish or selfless, we choose selfish every time.

Honestly, it would be nice to skip over the hard parts of life: these cold, wintry seasons of hurt, anger, or loss. I just want to hide under my blankets and shut out the ugly and difficult parts of life. I don’t want to fight with the people I’m supposed to love!

But I’m so afraid that God uses bitter, icy times to reconcile us to Him. I’m scared that I have to go through the winter of the soul so I can enjoy the springtime of the soul.

When I peek out from under the covers, I know the truth. I know I have to give up my own will, repent, and be reconciled to God, or I’ll never see springtime. I have to do more than hide and wait for winter to end; I have to allow God to change my heart.

During the season of Lent, we try to give things up to train our raw fingers to let go of old ways. But to reconcile with God and to breathe in the springtime, we have to do more than just let go. We have to replace our icy vices with the good, warm things of God.

I’m forever stuck in the winter of sin until I let go of myself and receive the good things of God. Christ is the best gift of God—He is worth more than anything we could ever give up.

We don’t make this happen. We just cry out for help, and our Savior thaws our bitter hearts. I don’t understand how it happens. But I believe that He is our only hope to free us from our sin.

Springtime is coming! Christ Himself is a real answer to the cold ache of our souls. It’s not an easy answer, but He is the answer that actually addresses the heart of my need. He is the relieving thaw of spring.

This lenten season, let’s do more than suspend our vices—let’s run to Christ. Let’s be brave, come out of hiding, and be reconciled to Him.

“Yet whatever else it may be, Lent should never be morose – an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. Instead, we ought to approach Lent as an opportunity, not a requirement. After all, it is meant to be the church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges.”

– from Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

 

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250 thoughts on "Springtime"

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  3. Dorinda says:

    I am also reading this out of season but He knows exactly where my heart is – it is in the deep winter – I trust Him as my Savior but have been going through and am still traveling journey that has caused my heart and soul to be where it is stuck in the ice and snow – please pray with me that He will melt my heart and bring in the freshness of Spring

    1. Rachal T. says:

      Dorinda,

      I, too, am reading this out of season but needed a melting away of my own soul. My expectations of a loved one and others were from a genuine need and desire I had in my heart. When others failed, it made me upset and then I realized who put these desired in my heart; our Heavenly Father. I’m learning to shed expectations of others and seek God and His kingdom for filfullment and the rest will be added into me. (I’m still holding on for the latter part).

      I say all this because you’re not alone. God is with you and has you exactly where He wants you. Trust Him and run to Him for the planting and growing of this season to bloom you into a new version of His creation as His daughter.

  4. JanieRose says:

    Just started this plan for 2016’s Lent Season, and I have loved every day of it. Today’s was especially helpful as I’ve already begun to grumble over the things I’m giving up for Lent. I love being able to think of this time as a positive rather than an a negative – instead of complaining about what I’m missing, I get to rejoice over what I’m gaining, that is, more of Christ!!

  5. Sara says:

    So, perhaps I am the only woman reading this now, just 1 month before Christmas 2015, but hey, if anyone does read this, let me tell you why I’m so grateful to be taking time to repent and lent now.
    January 8th I am getting married to a man I love so much and who is a source of strength and friendship for me. But during our engagement, as I like to put it, I have loved him too much, poor guy, as a sinner loves, instead of as Christ loves. Consequently, I’ve been selfishly choosing impure actions with him rather than God’s pure, selfless, build him up actions. We both struggled to get impurity out of our relationship, but as anyone who is married or even in a relationship knows, it’s so so hard to deny yourself the things you, or at least I, desire to use to show love to this man, but it’s not good as God made it because we are not yet 1 flesh and can’t become 1 till our wedding night. So that’s my struggle that’s leading both me and my fiance to work more on our relationship with God, so these sins that will pass won’t create weeds that take away from the growth of our marriage in God. (feel free to insert prayers here)
    Now what I’ve been enjoying so much about Jesus keep me near the cross during this season, is I’ve never been one who gets to Christmas and feels this overwhelming joy for the birth of our savior, but I’ve had that at Easter. And I’m realizing why might be because I’ve never taken true time to get broken over my sin and rejoice that I don’t have to hide it. Christmas season is becoming to me a breath of fresh air, because in all my sin that I’ve felt shamed and hid, this is a time to rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel has come for me!
    So if you’re reading this “out of season” like me, I hope you too find a blessing of joy this Christmas as we celebrate something truly worth a celebration!

    1. Star Surgeon says:

      No you are not the only one.

    2. Geordie says:

      And now I’m reading this a few weeks after Christmas,. And I myself have the same situation. Thank you so much for sharing.

    3. Stephani says:

      I’m reading this “out of season,” too, but it has been just what my soul needs!

      1. Erica says:

        So powerful! I am praying this morning that your marriage is a beautiful testament of what christ’s love can accomplish when two unite with Him as their cornerstone. I too am reading this out of season and am so very thankful I am, as my family and I prepare for our 7th move in 10 years. (army family). We have so much to be thankful for, and this is really helping me weed out all the negative behaviors and thoughts that come along with the stress of a big change. So glad to have this community to help me keep my eyes fixed on God and his mercy and many, many blessings!

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