Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shepastor: “God’s Metaphor for Resiliency”

Psalm 1:3 (KJV)
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

We’ve had an unusually warm winter here in Ohio. Growing up, I can remember the frigid temperatures, heavy snow falls, “snow days” (which we as children loved!) and cups of hot cocoa. Not this winter – 30’s thru high 40’s have been our average. Some have expressed concern over the flowers that appear confused. The concern is that if the flowers bloom too early and the winter comes back, the cold temperatures will freeze and kill them – a legitimate concern.

This morning I took a brief walk through our own garden. Sure enough, tulip leaves, buttercup stems and the rose bush are all beginning to sprout. As I stared at the beautiful green shoots, the tiny leaves pushing through the cold dirt, I began to contemplate God’s message as revealed through nature.

“God’s Metaphor for Resiliency”

Planted deep into the soil, covered with dirt and fertilizer, the flowers remain in the ground during the cold winter. In God’s own time, however, the sun rises, the hard ground softens and the flowers push through all the “mess” to break forth into glorious blossoms. Plants and flowers must be resilient. Their growth pushes them up and out, beyond the dirt that is piled upon them. They ignore the threat of a return to cold weather. They trust the sun.

Many have experienced being “piled upon.” Some feel buried beneath so much “stuff” that they are unable to push through. Is that you? Are you afraid to press upward for fear of being annihilated by the cold, whatever your “cold” may be? I encourage you to consider the flowers and trust the Son. As the plants and flowers feel the S-U-N and push through the dirt – you and I can trust the S-O-N and push through, push past and stand on top of whatever has sought to weigh us down.

Know that God has a “covering” for you. Gardeners will sometimes place a tarp over their tender shoots so that frost won’t kill them. God too sees our eagerness to push out from under the heavy weight that is stifling us. If it is too soon for us to come out, His Holy Spirit will cover us. Sometimes we become angry and anxious because we want out! But the Lord’s “tarp” is covering us until our due season. Sometimes we think it’s time – but our times are in His hands (Psalm 31:15). Keep pushing upward. Push past whatever dirt, pain, dysfunction, anxiety, depression, regret, turmoil – whatever is pressing you down – be resilient like the flowers. In God’s time your blossoms will break forth. Your leaf will not whither and you will prosper!

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Until Next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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