“April showers bring May flowers,” was a saying I grew up with. It was strange because it never jived with the longer growing seasons of Southern or Northern California. The saying certainly was not about Newfoundland, where I was warned to not put anything into the garden until late June.
The Spring season is a time of hope. We look forward to warmer weather, being outside with less clothes on, enjoying that half of the year where we can warmly embrace the growing season, the flowers, birds and beauty of what God has given us so abundantly.
This Spring is wracked with the broken side of rivers flooding and waters rising, across E. Ontario and Quebec. Ottawa itself, Rockland, Cumberland, Aylmer/Gatineau, and many, many other towns/cities along the river are flooding at historic levels with more precipitation in the forecast. What can we do?
Many are praying, and we can join them. We can also volunteer to sand bag, as hundreds are doing, joining the military, reservists and regular army. But we can also look beyond these losses to our own hearts. What is God saying to us?
Strangely, Spring and Summer are often marked by declining church attendance, and a time to retreat to cottages and the like. Rest and restoration are good. But let’s remember the spiritual side of such. We are called to trust God wherever we are and no matter what the circumstances. The Scriptures are filled with people turning to God during natural disasters. But the Scriptures also warn us with examples of faithful followers of God who lose their way for a season.
Take David. He is one whose heart belongs to God. Yet instead of his being out with his army, being commander in chief, he stays home one Spring. The Scripture records it like this in 2 Samuel 11: 1ff:
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with
the king’s men and the whole Israelite army…but David remained in
Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the
roof of his palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing…
And you know the rest of the story, or if you don’t, you can read on from that passage. David was supposed to be in his kingly role on the battlefield. But he was taking a break. He had several wives and concubines, so he likely was not alone in his palace, but that was not enough. He went looking on the rooftop, and found Bathsheba.
Now Springtime is a time when couples fall in love and get married. But David knew God and he knew better. But he nevertheless went down a path that ended in adultery and murder to cover up the adultery, as if God couldn’t see what was happening.
Perhaps everything is fine in your sexual life, but there is another area in which you struggle, and hide from God, thinking you can handle it on your own…now is the time to trust God with that area. Addictions, negative emotions, health crises, long standing patterns of brokenness…are the places that God wants to meet you this Spring. Don’t wait until God sends the gift of a prophet like Nathan to convict you of your sin. Get help now.
Just as we prepare our gardens and yards for the growing season, so we can prepare our hearts for God’s work, by opening ourselves in our vulnerable areas for His work and therefore for spiritual growth. Not sure where you need to ask for help? Ask someone you trust about the areas you need to address. Don’t have anyone you trust? Seek out professional help. Such seeking is a sign of strength, not weakness.
The floods will subside. The Spring will give way to the Summer. But before assessment of any damage, physical or spiritual, entrust your heart anew to the Lord. If we can help in any way here at Grace, speak to me or to the Elders. Let us trust the Lord together and help each other.