A beautiful red cardinal has been singing heartily outside my window the past week, as though it’s already spring.
My hibiscus houseplant has broken its winter dormancy and is putting forth flower buds.
But there’s still snow on the ground, and there’s bound to be more snow coming. This is Canada, after all, and it’s only March. It’s still cold enough outside to need a winter coat.
Doesn’t seem like spring to me.
Do the cardinal and the hibiscus know something I don’t?
In fact, they do. They sense the lengthening of the day and the increased hours of sunlight, things that have escaped my notice.
They know that spring is on its way, even if I can’t see it coming just yet.
In the same way, God knows a thing or two that we don’t.
He knows when a turnaround in our situation on its way, even if we can’t see any evidence of a change in the offing.
He knows that our “spring” is coming.
Think of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue, whose story is told in Mark 5:21-43. Jairus pleads with Jesus to come to his home to heal his daughter, who is dying. Jesus agrees and sets off to accompany Jairus home.
Before He gets very far, however, Jesus is waylaid by a woman who had been suffering from a bleeding disorder for 12 years. After Jesus heals her, messengers arrive to tell Him that there’s no use going to Jairus’ house now: his daughter has died.
Despite people telling Jesus not to bother going to Jairus’ home, Jesus wouldn’t be dissuaded from continuing on His journey. He knew something the others didn’t: He knew that “spring” was on its way for the little girl. He told them, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” He knew she would soon be restored to health and life.
And what about Lazarus? We read of his astonishing story in John 11. Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha were great friends of Jesus. But one day when Jesus was in another city, He received news that Lazarus was sick; Jesus knew that in fact Lazarus had already died.
When Jesus arrived in Bethany, He was told that Lazarus had already been in the grave for 4 days. Despite this, he instructed that the stone in front of Lazarus’ tomb be rolled away. People were understandably horrified at this idea.
“But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, ‘Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.’” (John 11:39)
Despite her protestations, Jesus insisted that the stone be removed. He knew something his friends didn’t: “spring” was coming for Lazarus.
“Then Jesus shouted, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth.” (John 11:43-44)
And then there’s Jesus Himself. On His journey to the Cross, He had plenty of opportunity to avert His fate, but chose not to. In fact, He said as much to Peter, when the latter tried to attack the men who had come to arrest Jesus at Gethsemane.
“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?” (Matthew 26:52-3)
Why didn’t Jesus take advantage of the opportunity to avoid a terrible death by crucifixion? Because He knew that “spring” was coming. Not just for Himself, but for all who would believe in Him.
He knew that after His sacrifice on the Cross, not only would He be resurrected, but He would have purchased the redemption of countless millions throughout history. He knew something that His disciples didn’t understand: that the world’s most amazing turnaround was coming.
Do you need a fresh start, a rebirth, a turnaround? Ask Christ to come into your heart and breathe new life into you.
Your own “spring” may be just around the corner!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.