As I look around my yard and flower beds at the end of winter, I am so discouraged. Remnants of dead leaves and acorns from last fall lay scattered all over the ground. My bushes’ unpruned branches are extending their territory in an unruly manner. The ground is barren and the grass is sparse. As I began to rake the stalks, sticks, and shreds into piles, I uncovered life beginning to sprout underneath. With determination, my daffodils, irises, and crocus were sprouting up through my unkempt yard. I had done nothing to coax them, but they are firm, hardy little plants.
This brought me to reflect on a passage in 1 Peter 1:3-4:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…” (emphasis mine).
Everything in this broken world echoes in our hearts that this is not how things were meant to be. My garden is a far cry from the Garden of Eden and my heart longs for that kind of beauty and perfection. It is the opposite of the heavenly inheritance that awaits me: it is perishable, defiled, and fading. Yet, God is faithful to prune the areas of my life that are unwieldy and resurrect the parts of me that are dead. Spring reminds us that He is faithful to keep His promises and we can have a confident hope in resurrection life.
When things spring to life in my yard, it is good and it is a shadow of resurrection life. Things still decay, break, and have thorns. In this “already” but “not yet” season of Christ’s redeeming work and His final consummation, there are daily hardships that are not a sign of failure of God’s grand plan. Hardships are a very important tool that God uses in our lives to draw us to Himself. It is His deliberate, sanctifying work.
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