Isaiah 61:10-11 (NLT)
I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring with plants springing up everywhere.
I am waiting for spring to come. I am watching and hoping that soon things will change around me. It has been a long winter. This morning in the wee hours of the day I was outside with our little dogs. As they attended their business, I walked around our pool. My husband keeps it clean and crystal clear throughout the winter. The air is a bit warmer today. The forecast is showing signs of early spring. But as I strain my eyes to look at the grassy area it is not lush and green. It bears the distinctive mark of late winter frost and the freezing temperatures of the week before. The dew sits on its blades as if not sure what to do with the place that it has fallen. It will be four years since we dug the pool in late summer. We were sure that it would be the highlight of our household. The boys could come enjoy it as much as the three girls who were all still living at home. But shortly after finishing the pool – our son got sick. Marking more than three years of back and forth to Gainesville for five rounds of treatment, I cannot say I wonder where the time has gone for I know all too well. At a time when I thought we were entering the best days of our life with a luxury that I never thought we would have, it turned out to be the beginning of a long, arduous fight. Our son has been cancer-free for more than six months now. I am truly thankful for the healing power of God that has been demonstrated in our son’s life. To God be the glory.
I need spring to come now. I need winter to end. I need some things to come back to life. I want the time back stolen from us. As I look around the yard at the grass that will soon spring forth with new life, I am aware of a quickening in my own spirit for the same. I want to be filled with the overwhelming joy in the Lord that I once had. He dressed me in His Salvation and for that I will forever be grateful. I have His Righteousness each day no matter how bad I may mess up thanks to an abundance of grace and new mercy that arrives each day. I am ready for this to spring forth from my life once again.
Isaiah 32:16-20 (NLT)
Justice will rule in the wilderness and righteousness in the fertile field. And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will be at rest. Even if the forest should be destroyed and the city torn down, the Lord will greatly bless his people. Wherever they plant seed, bountiful crops will spring up. Their cattle and donkeys will graze freely.
As I read this passage today, I realize that justice rules in the wilderness. What does that mean to us as believers? When we have no idea what God is up to, it is still safe to put our trust in Him. His Righteousness is a fertile field. Simply by faith in God I am sowing what I will one day reap. The winter in our life seems to have been exceptionally long. A lot of things have seemingly died away. I feel as though I have missed so many things that cannot be redeemed. But thankfully, I am not the Redeemer of my life because I give up way too quick. God sees new life when something dies. People mourn their loss, but the Lord rejoices in the future of such things. His Righteousness is the enforcer of our peace. It brings quietness and confidence to my soul that no matter how harsh the winter may be or how dead some areas of my life become that new life is not a possibility but rather quite probable in my life because of the hope that I have in Him. Even if the forest is destroyed, the city torn up, our life turned completely upside down and shaken violently, the Lord will greatly bless His People. “Wherever they plant seed” bountiful crops will spring up. I am promised prosperity no matter how wretchedly long the winter season seems and no matter how dead everything around me seems to be. I have blessed assurance because Jesus is mine that dead things are bringing forth new life.
Hosea 10:12 (NLT)
“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts for now is the time to seek the Lord that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’”
Plant seeds of righteousness. You will harvest His Love. I need the favor of God to work in my life. I have His Favor because He loves me. Plain and simple. I can do nothing to produce it other than continue to sow His Love in my life which is mine for righteousness sake. Sowing and reaping in the Spirit is a heart condition that spills over into our life. As our soul prospers, so do we. (3 John 1:2) When I look at the pool in our backyard, I do not miss the time that I would have spent in it. But I long all the times my children enjoyed it without me, but I was exactly where I should have been, would have been and could not change it as our son needed me. Planting may take something from us that we are not willing to give up but do anyway. It is a sacrifice. It takes from the now by faith in hope for the future. (Psalm 126:5-6) In our sacrifice, God blesses us with righteousness. We reap what we sow. Those things sown in faith will yield hope every time. When we trust the Lord through winter, His Favor is evident in spring. We just have to make it to spring. We have everything that we need to harvest an abundance if we do not give up. God didn’t call us to live a get-by kind of life, but a more than enough life. If you are just getting by, spring is just around the corner.
Isaiah 58:10-12 (NLT)
Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
Spring is going to come because God ordered the seasons. It has been preordained by Him to arrive right on time. You and I determine its yield. In the planting, we must be faithful no matter how hard it is. No matter how long it may seem. Whether we want to give up some things or not. Nothing is wasted that we give to the Lord in our sowing. As believers, we just have to do what we do and pursue Jesus day by day. His Righteousness works our seed invested in the ground to die so that our life will be transformed in each harvest. My pastor said yesterday that “every dead thing in our life today fuels our future.” Stop calling the dead back to life. The past is not your future but the things of your past may be useful to promote new life. In fact, it was the message at church that our next season is “spring.” God is producing everything that I need to prosper in my life according to my faith. If I want the impossible, it is by adding more faith that I receive it. My hope cannot be in the tangible and seeable details of life but in the promise that I will be complete lacking no good thing. This season is ending and not a moment too soon. I am ready for flip-flops and pool parties again.
Isaiah 35:1-4 (NLT)
Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”
Spring is coming! It has to! God ordered it to be so. It will happen soon. I feel it in my spirit as the Lord encourages my heart today. Strengthen those tired hands – you can make one more pass sowing seeds of righteousness today while you wait for the blossoming to begin by faith. I encourage you to keep walking on those weak knees (as I am telling myself to). We are almost there. The season will change without our help but what we harvest in that new day is completely up to us. I put faith in the ground. I keep my eyes fixed on hope. Planting straight rows of right standing with the Lord even when I must soften the ground with tears. The Lord will cause my righteousness to shine like the noonday sun. I will harvest what I have sown. God never lets our faith rot in the ground. He is my hope. He is my salvation no matter how dead things seem to be in my life. Spring is coming. I can feel it in the air, but more importantly now I can feel it in my heart again. Thank you Lord for this new season. Teach me embrace the changes associated with spring. Give me confidence that comes when faith matures in the ground called hope. You are my everything who better to change everything and call it new life.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NLT)
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!