I came home from the office last week to discover my driveway blocked by my sons and their friends playing basketball. After months of cold weather, they were enjoying being outside in warm weather, playing a sport they loved. It was fun to hear them yell and laugh as they played. It was a sign of new life that spring brings. Other signs are around us, too: cherry blossoms, geese flying overhead, days getting longer, and a sense of joy that the long winter is finally behind us. Yet, the new season also brings familiar problems: weeds growing in the yard, allergies clogging my head, and a list of chores to do that were neglected over the winter. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have all of the blessings of spring without all of the issues that come with new life and warmth?
There is a spiritual truth to be found here. New seasons of spiritual growth are a tremendous blessing. They bring warmth to our hearts. They bring a deep sense of joy that we haven’t experienced before or, perhaps, haven’t felt for a long time. We see the world in a new light as the life of Christ grows deeper in ours. Yet, as with the spring season, “spiritual spring” comes with problems. New light and life can reveal places that need spiritual weeding or replanting as we become aware of lingering sins. We can also find ourselves facing new spiritual trials and temptations as the enemy comes to thwart the growth the Lord is bringing to us. It would be nice if we could experience the blessings of spiritual growth without all of the trials that come with it. But Jesus made it clear that in this world, his followers would have troubles. (John 16:33) Peter wrote that we have an enemy looking to devour us as we seek to grow spiritually. (1 Peter 5:8) The hope that keeps spring and new life in our hearts is the promise Jesus gave us: “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) So, when the storms and weeds come against your spiritual spring, take heart! They are only temporary! Jesus has overcome them…and promises that in his power, you will, too!