April 1, 2013

Eternal Springtime

Spring time is coming, ever how slowly!  And isn't the spring wonderful? All winter long we wait eagerly for that first warm weekend. And when it comes, people are on every street walking their dogs; the ice cream line at UDF is jammed; the car washes are overflowing; Frisbees® and kites are flying on the breeze; front porch swings shake off the winter’s rust. Young and old alike cannot wait to get out into the fresh air. Everybody loves spring!

Now why is that? Well, we could be simple and say…because people like warmer weather, fresh air, sunshine, and the scent of flowers. But why do people like those things? I think it’s because God has put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3.11)! God has designed His universe so that every year around April (or February if you’re from down south), each of us would feel an intense longing for better days that lie ahead.

Every spring God gives us just a little taste of what eternal life must be like. And near the end of every winter, He gives us a taste of how we ought to be aching for the eternal country! We are to long for the return of Jesus and the restoration of earth the way we long for spring—and a thousand-fold more! That is perhaps one reason why God made the seasons – so He’d have a metaphor to help us understand our desires for eternity!

Listen to how the Bible uses the sights and smells of spring to make us long for the new heaven and earth:

●So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth. Hosea 6.3

●The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the Arabah will rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God. Isaiah 35.1-2

●On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22.2

Did you hear that? Gentle, irrigating, life producing rain. Crocuses that blossom like fireworks on the fourth of July. Tress so large that whole rivers can flow between their roots. Fresh ripe fruit that sprouts every month of the year! That’s what eternal life is like. After a long winter in these sinful bodies and on this sinful planet … perpetual springtime! I hope you long for eternity the way we all long for spring!

If you don’t … here’s a practical suggestion: Enjoy the springtime! Pick some strawberries. Taste some honeysuckle. Walk in the park. Plan a picnic. I bet you’ll enjoy it. And when you do, say to yourself: 'If spring here on earth is so great … how amazing must God’s eternal country be?'

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