Spring is coming to Southern California. Bees are dancing around my lavender. Birds are singing their songs of joy. The days are longer and filled with more of the sun's warmth. And my soul sighs. While we don't experience any real winter her in sunny SoCal, my soul has had plenty of winters to know the hope of spring.
I feel like my heart has been in a bit of a winter. I feel like I have been afraid to completely feel joy. I have hoped for it, but it has seemed at arms length, just out of my reach. But my years of hope for it has turned into bubbling, dancing joy and my heart is beginning to enjoy the company of delight and contentment.
Hope is a funny thing, isn't it? When we start to see the first signs of spring, our souls take a sigh of relief and our hope begins to bubble up inside of us. Our hope has not been born in the winter, but in all our past winters. Our hope for this spring, in life and in our souls, is not because we know this spring will bring relief from the cold and loneliness of winter, but because all the past springs have brought relief from the cold and loneliness of winter. We know that each winter, no mater how long and lonely, has ended with the warmth of spring. Every disappointment, every pain, and every moment of utter despair has eventually brought contentment, healing, and hope. Most of us have endured long winters and some of us are still in the middle of one. The one thing in we all have in common is that we will all endure many winters... and with each winter, spring will come. And with each spring, our hope will grow stronger.
So as this spring begins to unfold, I pray we can gently hold our past winters with grace and thankfulness. May we begin to see all of the pain and disappointment we have walked through as hope being produced and created in us.
To read more about hope, go Susan's blog and then continue around the circle.