Supposing you were an artist and had a blank canvas, would you start with Spring, another season or no season? Spring sounds like a logical choice … or does it? Its poetic speech is always of new beginnings as we associate it with the seasonal cycle that we humans have become used to. No Spring, no Summer. No Summer, no Autumn. No Autumn, no Winter. No Winter, no Spring. Each one brings something different and bounces off the previous one bringing the contrasts we all love. Snowdrops herald the Spring even after the fiercest Winter – each fluttering fragile snowdrop is a little white sail symbolising the hope of gentle summer breezes. When you feel like your life is in the grip of Winter, consider the seasons and remember that Spring cannot be far away. Our Father God is ‘The Creator Artist’ and never gets the rhythm of life wrong.
- ‘Spring is nature's way of saying, “Let's party!”' – Robin Williams
- ‘It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring who reaps a harvest in the Autumn’ – Bertie Charles Forbes
- ‘No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn’ – Hal Borland
- ‘Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again’ – Gustav Mahler
C S Lewis wrote of a Winter that seemed to have no end in his book about Narnia, ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’. It was as if the land was spellbound until Aslan could come and breathe life again into frozen landscapes and statues: ‘And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again’. After the defeat of the wicked witch, Lewis describes the beauty of Spring in Narnia with orchards of ‘snow white cherry trees’, ‘acres of blue flowers’ and new life on every side. The days get lighter, the earth gets warmer, hibernation comes to an end as nature starts to frolic. All around, there’s rustling and bustling as bright greens and yellows take over from dowdy browns and dreary grey shadows. Is it any wonder that a Gallup Poll found that Spring is the favourite season for 36% of Americans, while 27% prefer Autumn, 25% Summer and just 11% Winter?
Antonio Vivaldi tried to capture the essence of Spring in his famous toe-tapping violin concerto published in 1725. In 1886, Claude Monet conveyed the beauty of Spring with pastel blues, pinks, yellows and whites in his painting ‘An Orchard in Spring’. Poet William Blake felt compelled to ‘Sound the flute!’ in his poem entitled ‘Spring’ whilst William Wordsworth poetically wandered lonely as a cloud among his daffodils fluttering and dancing in the breeze published in 1807. More recently, Reginald John (Rex) Whistler was a British painter, designer and illustrator whose 1929 iconic painting of ‘Spring’ shows a peaceful country idyll – this was in stark contrast to his own subsequent violent death whilst seeking to save others in the fields of France during the Second World War. Spring time even comes in war time which is movingly portrayed in Sam Mendes' film ‘1917’. Beginning in a tranquil field dotted with flowers, Lance Corporals Blake and Schofield set off on a heroic journey and pass by orchards of white apple blossom that painfully speak of home and peace. Despite tragedies still happening in Spring, this season is prophetic gift full of hope and joy.
- ‘God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new”’ – Revelation 21:4-5
- ‘In that day the wolf and the lamb will lie down together, and the leopard and goats will be at peace. Calves and fat cattle will be safe among lions, and a little child shall lead them all’ – Isaiah 11:6
- ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot’ – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
- ‘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
It seems appropriate that The Lamb of God gave His life for a world in darkness in the season we most associate with new life. It was in darkness that the firstborn of Egypt died in Moses’ time. At the most poignant time of Jesus’ redemptive work, darkness too covered the land from 12 noon to 3 in the afternoon – the people walking in darkness and the ‘shadow of death’ were soon to see a great light dawning on that first Easter Sunday. Paul taught that creation itself speaks to us of God’s plans and that it groans as it awaits the new things He has in store. Revelation chapter 22 tells of the river flowing down the middle of the ‘great street’ of God’s city lined with trees on both banks and ‘bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month’. In the heavenly city, there are countless new creations living in the light of God with continual fruit – it seems like an eternal Spring is ahead. Spring is a resurrection season for those in Christ for each one is ‘a new creation’, for whom ‘the old has gone, the new has come’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
When you see signs of Spring after a long, cold and hard Winter, be thankful and let each one point you to this glorious hope. The first brave snowdrop is as a little candle – a bank of them is a flotilla of light. If we don’t get it at first, the clues come thick and fast with crocuses, primroses, daffodils, tete-a-tete, bluebells, the crying of the lambs. God hasn’t given up for He keeps giving us these and many other prophetic signs throughout the year if we have eyes to see them.
TAGS – hope, redemption, rescue, repair, restoration, restore, purpose, heaven, future