Slowly my eyes open as my brain awakens to the celebration songs of spring. A sweet chirping, a calling back and forth, announcing their return, the birds welcome one another back. Opening the curtains, I’m amazed to see the ice no longer has its grip on the lake. Could it be, is it too early to get excited? In the Midwest, anything can happen, it could snow tomorrow, but the warmer weather has brightened my spirit.
Winter felt long. The dreary clouds and cold, piles of snow, and lack of community during Covid, have made me feel disconnected this winter. And now, with vaccines and lowering infection rates, there is hope on the horizon. A possibility for some normalcy to return to life.
Spring also creates feelings of hope. There is renewal in both nature and in our souls. As creation awakens from its winter slumber, trees begin budding, tulips squeeze up from the cold ground and a promise of bright fresh colors brings encouragement as the browns and grays begin to disappear. People smile and wave as they finally emerge, ready to enjoy what nature has to offer.
As you emerge from winter are you able to sum up what you are feeling in a couple words? For me, those two words are renewal and hope. A renewal of relationships that have suffered during 2020 and a hope for a deeper more connected life with God and others.
This winter, through His Word, God has reminded me we were never meant to live in isolation. God’s design has always been about love and community. From the beginning, when He created Eve for Adam, to how He laid out the community of Israel to support one another, to how Jesus modeled love for mankind, to how our churches came to be, it’s always been about loving God, loving others and living in community. We need each other.
Easter is the perfect time to renew our relationship with Jesus, for taking time to reflect back on His faithfulness. By reminding ourselves of the moments we felt His touch through a song, a sermon, a passage of scripture where His words soothed our heart, or how we saw evidence of Him in creation, we remind ourselves of His active presence in our life. He is with us every moment of our day, walking with us, even in the most mundane of tasks. And though He pursues us, His desire is for us to freely turn to Him, inviting Him into our lives.
Though my time at home has had it’s disappointments, I have been blessed by more time with Jesus and my family. My relationship with Jesus has changed. There’s a new depth to our conversations and I’ve become more aware of His active presence in my life. I also treasure my new found time with my family and deepening those relationships has brought me immense joy.
I’m hopeful we will find our way back to worshiping Jesus together in church, to gathering together in our homes for fellowship, and to cherishing our families in a deeper way. But most of all, I am hopeful we will continue to lean into Jesus and deepen our relationship with HIm. For out of our relationship with Jesus, our capability to love others well will increase, hopefully, creating within them, a curiosity to learn more about the love Jesus.