A Time of Growth and Renewal
Spring has sprung. This time of year often represents a time of refreshment and renewal. As I see the blooms on the trees, the sprouting of the lilies and the renewed growth of the purple jute in my flowerbeds I feel a sense of rejuvenation in my spirit. As I am examining the new growth in my yard I am quickly reminded of the work that needs to be done in order for the new growth to reach its greatest potential. Arghh …. I see pruning I need to do, raking of leaves and then fertilizing to boost the new growth. As I take on these tasks, I slowly see progress and my flowerbeds begin to brighten up with fresh color and nicely trimmed bushes. The time I invest in the yard work creates a renewed energy for me. Somehow it lightens and restores hope for me that sunny, warm days are ahead. I love to be outside and so this excites me to know spring leads to summer and thus fun in the sun is ahead.
As I experience these thoughts of renewal I feel reminded of God’s vision of spring. Obviously, Easter comes to mind. The resurrection of Christ reminds me that God desires and allows us to renew our minds and our spirits through Him. A passage in Psalms comes to mind:
Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me,
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalms 51:10-12
Like the plants in my yard, I find my Christian walk is at times bright, colorful and full of life and then during other seasons of my life, my walk is dull, dormant, showing minimal signs of life. Have you ever found this to be true in your life? In order to experience a renewed heart and spirit we may have to take on the task of pruning, cleaning and fertilizing our lives. This is where the challenge comes in. This requires work, effort and commitment.
Pruning requires that we “cut-off” or let go of dead limbs in our lives. This could mean releasing resentments and allowing forgiveness to settle in our hearts. Wow, forgiveness!!?? That by itself is a major task.
What about the “cleaning” in our life? How might this look for each of us? For me, it is removing clutter in my world. Not just the clutter of junk, but the clutter that steals my time. I find myself examining how I use my time. Am I growing closer to God? Am I strengthening relationships or selfishly focusing on my needs? How about you….where does your time go? What can you “let go of” in order to make more time for what God desires in your life?
Finally, we come to fertilizing our lives. Without the necessary nutrients, water and sunshine our plants can’t grow. The same is true for our Christian walk. How do you fertilize your spirit? For me, it requires studying God’s word. The Holy Bible is “The Dummies Guide to Christianity.” Scripture can guide us in all decisions in our life. A commitment to prayer time with the Lord is vital. This is where He speaks to us; prayer time is often when God renews my heart.
The end result of all this work produces a newness that is fresh, colorful, filled with vigor and energy. Just like our yards, when we have pruned, cleaned and fertilized our hearts and spirits God allows us to grow, bloom and be renewed. I challenge you this spring to do the “yard work” necessary in your life to experience this awesome gift from God of renewal and refreshment.