by Heather Bock
You know all those weeds I’ve been writing about in my last four posts (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are my last posts: part one, part two, part three, and part four, phew!)? A large portion of them are spring weeds, and Texas springs are extremely short. They dissolve into summer faster than a prairie fire with a tail wind, faster than a scalded cat, faster than one-half less than no time, to use a few Texas phrases (can’t you just hear the twang?). I’m not too happy about short springs for the most part, but I can be thankful for one reason–that hot southern sun kills my spring weeds just as fast, certainly faster than I can pull them. It’s only April, and a bunch of mine are already looking more yellow than green.
In my last post, I wrote about how hard it is to do the work of pulling weeds. I stressed the importance of finding a weeding buddy. This is true, but when it comes down to the weeds of sin, no one can totally get rid of them for you–not even you.
Well, almost no one. Continue reading
Daffodils have always been my favorite flower, even when I lived in a place that was fairly warm year round, but now I live in a place that can be pretty cold in the winter, causing almost everything to go dormant and leaving a dreary world around me. The fact that the daffodil is so bright, fragrant, and cheery, coupled with the fact that it is one of the earliest flowers to come up in the spring, before the weather even fully warms, makes it that much better to me.
But isn’t it just like God to take something good and make it even better? He did that by helping me recognize it for the symbol it is, a symbol of life coming out of seeming impossible circumstances. Isn’t that the message of spring every year? Just as bright, alive crocuses and daffodils push through the frozen death every year after their bulbs have been planted only once, so the Holy Spirit can do in our hearts once we have been one time planted in Him.
Another name for the daffodil is Narcissus, linked with the Greek myth of Narcissus, who was so obsessed with himself that he stared at his own reflection in a pool of water so long that he eventually died, and in his place sprang up the daffodil, forever bending its head by the waterside, as if forever gazing at itself. God helped me realize last night that we don’t have to think of that daffodil springing up out of the barren ground as narcissistic, but as bowing its head in humility and thanks for what God has done. God can redeem any image, even an ancient one!
He makes all things new. I love Gungor’s song “Beautiful Things”: “All this pain. I wonder if I’ll ever find my way. I wonder if my life could really change at all. All this earth. Could all that is lost ever be found? Could a garden come up from this ground at all? You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us. All around, hope is springing up from this old ground. Out of chaos life is being found in You. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of us… You make me new, You are making me new…”
It’s been a long winter, and even though Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, it hasn’t happened here! One of the great things about winter, though, is the anticipation of new life breaking through after dormancy and seeming death. It always makes me think about how God can take what seems dead and bring it to life in our lives in so many ways. It gives me hope to keep persevering in prayer! “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:2). I love how God uses metaphors from the world around us that He created to teach us about Himself!
Winter in East Tennessee, of course, is also fun because of the occasional snowfall. It doesn’t snow often enough or hard enough to deal with snow shovels, but we can throw a few snowballs in January. The kids had fun!
And although it’s still been pretty cold here, we know that spring is really here because this ice
has given way to yellow, pink, and white blossoms all around. We’ve just got to remember what all these cold April showers will bring…