Everyone from the far north announces when spring is here. Snow melts; puddles appear. Even the muddy messiness is a welcome reprieve. Preparation by gardeners and farmers began months ago. Proud growers splatter social media with images of seedlings flourishing under grow lights and in greenhouses.
Most people look forward to spring. Maybe not the muddy part, but certainly the clean, fresh, green part! We watch and listen for the return of waterfowl and songbirds, building nests and laying eggs. We google over sprigs of green bravely emerging from the cold, once barren, earth. Spring brings promise.
Spring comes slowly only to leave quickly, followed by the steady rhythm of other seasons.
“See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.”
Song of Songs 2:11-13
Solomon never endured the lengthy, frigid winters we do. Yet, he welcomed spring with a song, “Winter is over! Spring is here!” He relished the sights, sounds, and aromas of the season of awakening and fresh starts.
God often refers to autumn and spring rains as refreshing and rejuvenating the earth. The spring rain carried a promise of future harvest.
“Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.”
Spring symbolizes new beginnings. Those fresh sprouts of green will eventually produce a harvest. In the Bible, an overflow of grain, new wine, and oil speaks of abundance flowing from fresh starts and new beginnings. Each symbolic, not just of earth and soil, but people with soul coming into spiritual overflow.
“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today — to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul — then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.”
Can you feel it? God’s promise of abundance and blessing?
The Patience of Spring
All us dirt-between-the-fingers gardeners know that to plant a seed or see a fresh sprout rising from the dust doesn’t mean harvest has arrived. Spring may be here, but harvest follows much later.
“Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
Just as the spring rains cause the dead sprigs to burst into life, spring announces the promised return of Jesus Christ. When He comes, death will forever be cast aside as He breathes fullness of life into His own.
“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
Farmers know we need more than just a few spring showers to produce a harvest. Timely summer rains bring the crops through to completion. But no rain carries as much significance and promise as the early spring rain.
Ask for Rain
The patience of waiting partners with fully trusting in the Lord’s provision. The sower plants, waits, and seeks God for the increase. Within patience flows asking — asking God to provide His rain at strategic times.
“Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.”
Spring follows winter as surely as day follows night. But God encourages us to ask for His showers of blessings. Zechariah reminds us to be bold in our asking God for the full provision of spring.
“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.”
God remembers we are made from dust. We forget what a dry thirsty people we become apart from the constant “showers” of the Spirit. The spring rain points us to Holy Spirit being poured out on humanity — on us and our children — saturating and reviving all that has grown cold and barren.
More than anything else, spring reminds us of God’s faithfulness. We might easily forget in the cold, dark night of winter, but as the sun rises higher and higher warming the land and restoring life, we remember again that God is faithful.
“Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The LORD will indeed give what is good and our land will yield its harvest. Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.”
As wars and corruption flood the earth, throwing nations and peoples into uproar, God’s reminder that spring is here brings hope. As we lift our gaze to Him, we remember His faithfulness, seeking a greater outpouring of His Spirit. Even when justice and righteousness seem distant, God is faithful!
The muck and mud always give way to beauty. God’s righteousness will always prevail, preparing the way for intervention in our lives and in our world, until His ultimate return to gather the real harvest.
Spring signals a new generation of growth. Look down enough to avoid the muck and mud, but keep looking up to God who is forever faithful!