“When our faith is weak, when we are assailed by contradictions and doubts, we are tempted to look at our faith, to worry about our faith, to try to work up more faith.At such times, however, we must not look to our faith but look to Him.Look to Him, listen to Him, and faith will take care of itself.Keep looking.Keep listening.” Richard John Neuhaus
Today it was 60 degrees! I noticed the fresh hue of green, peeking out from under the dry dead leaves, and beginning to color the woods.In the warm breeze all of my hope was awakened and directed to the coming spring.Yet, just last week my mind was numbed by the cold and the nagging wonder at whether spring would really ever arrive in Northeast Ohio. This metaphor is something tangible for me to hang onto in these Lenten days of waiting and prayer. God comes to me with a glimpse of the Hope that awaits us in the Easter Resurrection through the new life I witness in the changing Seasons.So I breathe in deeply to receive the promise once more that “yes indeed” after what seems like death to my senses, awakens and arises anew in Resurrection.I find that I am very grateful that we have a God who is so constant.Everyday He sends the sun to rise and set, and places the seasons in such order and array, so as to remind us of the constancy of His promises for us.
In today’s world, and especially for those of us who honestly try to seek the face of Christ, battling with our emotions, people who let us down, our past, and our present struggles, constancy is a welcome friend.
Sometimes when we are buried in the snow of our lives, feeling
Cold, barren, desolate and alone we forget that Spring is coming.
Our emotions can be so raw, and our energies so sapped that we can seem to crack like dried branches being trampled.The Winter can seem so long, that even the growth that God brings to our lives through our healing seems to freeze under the next snowfall that comes our way. So many of us encounter these times in our healing journey and with them we are often tempted to stop walking, to give up, and stop the journey. In the beginning we started on the path, sometimes with great apprehension and doubt, and little by little God began to speak to our hearts, pouring out His love for us. Under this warmth of this love, we could feel the life coming back to us.Because the process can take time, we can become impatient and begin to reason, that we feel so much better than we had felt when we first entered Bethesda, convincing ourselves that this is “good enough” and so we settle in, we stop moving forward and fall asleep under the snow.But under the layers of snow we have difficulty seeing the light of Christs’s love, and we may even doubt that we could ever be made whole again, not after all we have experienced in our lives.Or we may choose to “stay put” because waking to the light of love, may expose yet another painful place in our hearts, and so we let fear keep us frozen.
God wants so much more for us than our settling for what we think is “good enough”, he desires to free us from every fear that keeps us buried, and perhaps this is the message for us this
Easter.God wants for each of us the fullness of his grace.Not
just a portion of it, but all of it.
Perhaps what we really need is courage, not the courage to be
strong, but the courage to say “yes” the courage to trust in the Constancy of God. When we are willing to hang on tight to the hand of Our Savior, Spring will follow Winter, and our deaths can be transformed into new life.With that first Easter morning, and with each that follow, the question of Nicodemus that begs an answer, “Can a man be born again?” is given answer in the Risen Lord.This is what Jesus makes possible by conquering sin and death, through His Cross and Resurrection.
Even we can be born again,
What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave
you gave away your Son
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
Which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
(Taken from the Easter Proclamation)
There are no promises that we will not get more snow this season, in fact it is almost certain that we will, so hang onto the hand of Christ, keep looking, keep listening, and never let go.