Sunday, April 10, 2016


It's spring. The trees have been blooming, slowly opening their new buds to let the first touch of sunlight and warmth in. My Instagram feed is blowing up with images of beautiful trees, the hues of April coming to life before our eyes and our screens. 

I went for a walk last night, and took in the stillness of the fresh flowers, and I blew up my own Instagram account with flowergrams. I was able to capture the light through the leaves, each delicate petal and piece of the plant. 

 And I realized again that flowers don't open up their bloom before our eyes. It's a slow, steady revealing, much like constant renewing of our heart before the Lord.

Last week I had a no-so-great moment {evening, like hours plural} with the Lord wrestling with the why me / woe is me / how about a little help here pity party for one. While it's good to wrestle with the Lord on things, this was more like me forgetting every good thing He's done for me and me arguing with Him for what I think is best for me. Flashback to the Israelites wandering aimlessly in the desert. I was complaining about the manna. 

Not a great moment. 

Shortly after that I was reminded that nothing we have is guaranteed, and everything we have is a blessing because in this life, we actually deserve nothing. We are not to live in this spirit of entitlement, be it for our health, our situation, our housing, our finances...whatever the "plenty and want" situation is, the heart of the matter is the simple enduring fact that the Lord will provide what's best for us and in order to draw us closer to Him and for His glory.

I had to repent. I had to seek the Lord's forgiveness for the ugliness of the desires of my heart that are worldly, and in my case were filled with jealousy and discontent, and having taken my eyes off the cross and the bigger picture. I only saw our trials and afflictions. I wasn't seeing the good that has come and will continue to come from them. 

But in doing so, I was made new again. Joy was restored to my fading spirit of love for the Lord in this moment and the place He currently has me in. 

As I walked around our neighborhood last night, taking in deep breaths of the freshly cut grass, the scent of newly opened petals, the fear and trembling and panic of a baby serpent in my path, and the sight of spring all around, I was reminded that not only does the Lord draw us to repentance, but He gently restores our soul. 

In Psalm 51 we are encouraged to ask the Lord to, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit." {Psalm 51:10-12} How beautiful that not only is God loving enough to show us the dark and ugly areas of our heart and He does not leave us there to wallow or sink, but gently lifts us out of that pit and renews our spirit back to Him. 

Psalm 32:8 reminds us that, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." We can call upon the Lord to restore us and lead us. As Christians, following the Lord does not mean we will lead a sinless life, but rather that we can come and confess to Him and ask for renewal within us. And God is good to provide. 

As I was heading home on my walk, I noticed the water steadily draining down the side of the road, running down the hill along my path. In the little stream were the leftovers of the pink petals that had bloomed recently on the trees. They were birthed to bring new life to the trees for spring, announcing with celebration the warm season to come, adorning each branch like a little garland of joy and delight. But in time, they faded and fell.  After they fell, the branches were not left barren and empty, void of the beauty that had just decorated its branches the weeks before, but was graced the green buds of new leaves. 

He restores.

He renews.

And He continues to give life again. 


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