Friday, March 14, 2014
Signs of Spring
It has been a long winter! The temperatures have been cold, better yet freezing, and the snow was deep! Through the winter plans were often changed and events were cancelled. I believe we in Iowa are all ready for summer!
Before the fields are planted and the gardens grow, the snow must melt and the mud needs to disappear. This March we have plenty of snow and some of it is already becoming mud. As a Mom of 5, I'm not a real fan of mud on the farm...I consider that 3 letter word a synonym for laundry!! Though I'm not a clean freak, this time of year just seems so dirty - the beautiful white snow is now a dirty gray, the gravel roads are a soft, muddy brown and my children's shoes all look a bit different.
Prior to leaving the house today, I read a comment on my latest blog. I wrote about humility and shared how God was showing me some of my struggles. In response Wendy wrote, "He wants His highest and best for us and sometimes that involves showing us parts of us we don't want to see." I agreed with her statement, but as I drove down the road God brought her words to life.
In my mind, I grumbled about the dirty mess and muddy road, but I realized if I wanted warmer temps and sunny days we had to get rid of all winter left behind. And then God reminded me the same was true in my life. If I wanted to move forward on my walk of faith and take another step towards becoming who God created me to be, I had to deal with the dirt in my life.
Friend, God has been showing me I still struggle with some things like insecurity, fear of what others think and doubt. He's also trying to reveal His plan for me and in order for that to unfold I need to deal with areas of sin He is revealing.
This is where my illustration breaks down...as the temperatures rise and sun shines, the snow will melt. It has no choice in the matter, but I do. I can choose to walk through the messes in my heart and allow God to clean it up or I can refuse, turn my head and ignore what God shows me. Through the years I've done both...we all know what happens when we choose the latter, so for a minute let's think about the first option.
When God shows us the ugly in our hearts, He always has a reason. The ugliness of sin upsets Him more than the dirty, muddy, melting snow does me. He knows He created me for more and He also knows He's equipped me to move past whatever is holding me back. Finally friend, He knows the beauty that will be created when we've walked through the mess!!
But knowing these things are not enough, we must humble ourselves and ask God to examine our hearts. Then we must work to change and improve. Will this be easy? No. Will it require work? Yes. Will it get messy? Probably. Will it be worth it? Yes!
All of us in Iowa endure the muddy, messy spring because we know an enjoyable, beautiful summer is bound to come. As followers of Christ may we do the same...the only way to walk into the wonderful plan God has for us is to walk through the messes we create and God brings to our attention.
Today, will you join me in bowing your head in humility and make Psalms 26:2 a prayer of your heart? Ask God, "Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind." Friend, don't stop there...pray for ears to listen, eyes to see and a tender heart that is ready to respond.
Remember the start of spring may be messy and dirty, but it leads to a time of growth and beauty. This is true in nature, but may we not forget this truth as we live out our faith!!