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The Time of Singing

It isn’t easy, living on the prairies. Even those of us born and raised here get more than a little cabin-feverish by the time March is in view. Interminable winters, fighting with cold, snowy weather, vehicles, infectious virus’s and waning energy levels inevitably wear everyone down. Not only the animals hibernate! And then there’s the horrible trick nature plays of giving a tantalizing hint of spring only to follow it with another blizzardy blast just as everyone’s hopes are warming up.

Finally, finally however, spring really does come even here. When it does, even the most jaded snow-warrior remembers why they live in Alberta. Nowhere on earth does the season change with as much glorious drama as in our own backyard. It all turns over in literally a day or two: the incredible bursting out of tender green, eradicating the depressing, no-nothing grey and fusty snow-mold. When those sweet, waxy little leaves twist and unfurl into the sunlight, the entire atmosphere changes. Blossoms tranquilly fill the moist soft air like a healing balm to the weary. You can almost hear a heavenly orchestra, birds absent or silent suddenly finding their song. And the smell! Define ‘fresh’ by the scent of the first spring rain. Nothing like it! A thousand shades of green carpet the earth, and we all breathe happily again.

The soul itself experiences seasons: some long, dark, exhausting, and seemingly hopeless. The gloom and doom seem impenetrable, almost tangible. It’s easy to despair of ourselves, our lives, and any hope of goodness or beauty. Heavy mantles of duty, obligation, or simply monotony, kill our joy and make us feel powerless. Then all at once, life comes bursting on us most unexpectedly. The Lord says

“Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone: The flowers appear on the earth, and the time of singing is come….”. (Songs 2:10-11)

Whatever dark winter of the soul you may currently be experiencing...leave it all behind. Get off the ash-heap of the past, accumulated failures, disappointment, grievances and offence: the gloom and doom of mental detritus. The Lord is offering something entirely different. Can we really believe Him when He speaks Spring to our hearts? What if it’s that simple? What if the problem of winter is one rooted in our minds and hearts (thinking and emotion) more than the physical circumstances of our lives? Can we just accept the fact that Jesus is alive and that changes everything? The choice is ours to step back into this garden of intimacy. He’s offering us a deeply penetrating encounter with a living God.

It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! Rom 8:11-12 Message

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