This rhododendron bud is bursting with promise. But look at all that snow! Will the bud still open in the spring, or has its future been hijacked?
I’m sure you’ve seen these promises in the landscape around you in the dead of winter. Not only are the flowering shrubs preparing for spring, there may be daffodil leaves beginning to poke out of the ground as well! This particular bud may have been damaged by a swift drop in temperature just before the blizzard struck. The only way to know for sure is to wait and see what happens in a few short months. Here’s an azalea bud that looks like it didn’t fare too well after our last snow.
Aren’t you glad that God’s promises aren’t so fickle? It’s easy for us to let our focus shift to whatever situation we find ourselves in, and forget the One who is carrying us through it to the other side. We ask ourselves how things could possibly turn around for the better, because all we can see is the here and now. Yes, there are terrible things that happen in life, and some of them may seem to last an interminable amount of time. But God is not actually interested in our comfort so much as he is in our character. I could begin a list of hardships I’ve experienced in my life, and I know you could do the same! In spite of that long list, the longer I live, the more I’ve come to trust in the Author and Perfecter of my faith.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne (Hebrews 12:1b-2) .
The trials I come up against in my life do not negate the great love He has for me, nor do they separate me from Him. Nothing can separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39)! I find my strength and joy by keeping as close to Him as possible in the midst of the trials and storms of life. He promises to never leave me (Hebrews 13:5), and when I come close to Him, He responds (James 4:8).
I am facing another season where I could choose to set my eyes on fears of how things may turn out, but I will choose instead to keep my eyes on Jesus. I may not see his promises fulfilled today, tomorrow, or this year, but I know that He is faithful! My circumstances cannot change his faithfulness, nor will they hijack his promises.
As you look around in the coming weeks for signs of spring, let them remind you of God’s faithfulness. The bud in the picture above may not make it…but spring will!