It was a brisk March morning as I walked along the tree-lined sidewalk near our home. My dog snuffled along beside me, his nose intent on anything and everything squirrel. Florida winters are milder than much of the rest of the country, so our fall season happens about mid-winter.
I noticed each live oak we walked past was at a different stage in its seasonal cycle. Some of the trees were completely bare — their spindly, gray-brown branches naked — and I shivered from the bold reminder of winter. Other trees were already decorated with tiny, bright mint-green buds of new life. “Here’s spring!” They shouted.
A couple of the trees still had last year’s dark-olive, dry leaves desperately clinging to branches. I wondered how trees so close to each other and exposed to the same weather, could be at different stages in nature’s seasonal cycle.
When we’re in Christ, we’re like the live oaks dotting my neighborhood. We each go through seasons with our faith. We begin by accepting Christ’s free gift of salvation – we’re firmly planted. The Son is our power source and when we seek Him, Jesus nurtures us perfectly. But like the oak trees along the sidewalk, we are unique creations.
We’ll each bloom for our Savior, but in His perfect time. After all, the world would be a boring, monochromatic place if all the trees looked the same. Where would we go for shade if every tree was bare? How else would we teach our children the different colors of green in God’s world? And where would the birds and squirrels hide their nests?
God can use the beautiful full bloom of your abundant faith to encourage my bare limbs to grow for Him. Next year my copious green buds will remind your leafless branches of God’s faithfulness. May we always share Jesus’ love and grace with each other as we cycle through seasons in our faith.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
– Isaiah 42:9 (NKJV)
“Loving Father, thank You for Your faithfulness in each season of our life. Thank You for the promise of new life through Jesus. Help us rest in You when our limbs are bare and cold, and may we never stop praising You in the full bloom of spring. Remind us to comfort and edify others in You, all for Your glory….”
A Lamp, a Light, and a Writer