Originally published Monday, 03 April 2017.
I haven't experienced spring in twenty years.
Oh, I've traveled during the months of spring to places where flowers and trees are waking from their slumber. I've seen the daffodils and tulips pop out from the ground, bringing a sudden splash of color to a gray landscape.
But I haven't watched the spring transformation take place in two decades. I haven't witnessed the world change from death to life over a period of weeks.
Now that we've moved away from a tropical climate, I get to experience spring again. We have a large window in our kitchen with a table in front of it. I like to sit there and watch the world outside in our backyard. Since we moved here last spring, I've watched everything come full circle. I watched the green trees in my yard transform into shades of crimson, gold, and rust. I saw the grass turn brown and die. I witnessed the leaves blow off in the wind and flutter to the ground. And before long, I saw hail, ice, and snow batter the same window.
Then, in late January, because it was unseasonably warm, I saw pink buds form on a neighbor's tree. Slowly more trees began to bloom with flowers. Then the daffodils and other flowers came to life. My neighbor's camellia bush burst in color. But the oaks, maples, and other trees still did not have leaves. I looked out the window each morning, wondering when they would appear.
Remarkably, it was the first day of spring. I looked out my kitchen window again and noticed little green specks on the ends of each tree branch. The beginnings of leaves!
Watching the seasons come and go each year for some may be tiresome. And I probably took it for granted growing up in a four season climate. But seeing it again after twenty years was wonderful. I marveled at the process. And not just at the beauty of nature. Not just at the stark contrast between the dark emptiness of winter and the colorful life of spring.
But at the faithful hand of God.
Day in and day out, the sun rises. Every single morning. The earth turns on its axis, rotating exactly as it should. Time moves forward at the same rate each second, minute, and hour. The season for planting comes as does the harvest at its appointed time. The animals make their nests, birth their young, gather for winter, and wait for spring to come again.
Psalm 119 says, "Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants." (vv. 89-91).
God is faithful and true. He does all that He says He will do. He makes everything happen as He has ordained it to. By His very word, He keeps and sustains all things. He is a covenant keeping God who fulfills all that He has decreed.
Just as the seasons unfold throughout the year, just as the sun rises each morning, just as the cherry tree blossoms in spring, we can trust in God's faithfulness. He is as sure as the sunrise each morning, the gravity that holds us to the ground, and the air we breathe. God's faithfulness in the created world around us is a constant reminder of His faithfulness toward His people.
His faithfulness is often joined together in Scripture with His love. "The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Exodus 34:6). The ultimate display of His love and faithfulness is found in Christ, "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
This is a good reminder for me as life is often filled with uncertainty. I have things in my life which I fear will never change or come to an end. There are other things which keep me up at night, wondering what will happen and when. The seeming unpredictability of life can keep me on edge, feeling anxious, fretful, and fearful.
But for God's faithfulness.
The beauty and wonder of spring, as amazing as new life and growth is, serves to point me to the One who holds the world in His hands. As He cares for His creation, how much more so does He care for me? As our Savior said, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matthew 6: 25-26).
God is faithful in the life of a sparrow and in the life of His people. As we trace His faithfulness back through the seasons, year in and year out, we will see the constant pattern of His love and faithfulness on display, not only in creation, but in our very lives as well. Eventually, we'll trace it back to the cross itself where Christ fulfilled every promise and met every requirement and answered every heart's longing and cry. God was faithful to us in Christ and is faithful to us in this very moment and into eternity.
Do you see God's love and faithfulness in your life?