New Things

February 10, 2015

The Colorado air this February is warm, and though I know that we may still get a couple wintry blasts of snow before spring truly arrives, today it feels like the seasons are changing. There is little that compares to the bright blue of a Colorado sky. And on days like today it feels like the sky goes on for miles and miles, spotlighted by the bright warmth of the sun, as it makes its way toward the western mountains.

The breeze is sweet and carries occasionally the fragrance of the maple trees just beginning to blossom, fooled by the warm air into thinking winter is gone and it is time to adorn themselves in their large leaves. I hear the honeybees emerging from their winter hives to taste the sap that is starting to flow in those trees, taking every opportunity to collect their precious pollen to feed their young, even if in a few weeks they may end up shuttered inside again braced against the spring snow storms that may come.

When I was a child, the change from winter to spring was my favorite time of year. For some reason, each year as I saw the early spring crocuses lift their sleepy heads from the soil, something inside of me emerged too. I remember spending time alone outside, reveling in the sun and blue sky, feeling this jumping in my soul that had little language, but spoke deeply to something inside of me. Spring always meant new. The air felt full with the possibilities of new life.

And years later, I still feel it. The freshness of open windows blowing out the stale dust build up over winter. The hope that there will be something, something, something coming. Anticipation and excitement and awe all wrapped into a ball of knowing that in these days of change, Someone is stirring up something new. 

Spring in this part of the world arrives in bits and pieces. We will have these bright glorious days followed again by the familiar sounds of winter wind and cold. We do not put our cold-weather clothes away, but slowly we bring out warmer weather clothing and live in the constant back and forth of the new emerging. It is like this every year in this area. As far back as I can remember, the season of new life does not come all at once, but bit by bit, little by little, advancing and retreating and advancing again until the day arrives when everything flourishes open and wide.

This spring feels that way, not just because I know how the weather patterns will reveal themselves in the weeks ahead, but because in some ways that’s how it feels for us in our small family. This back and forth, this up and down, this pressing in and being pushed back just to press in again. That is how this new birth in our home is happening. We feel the same jumpy anticipation that something is going to emerge, that something is going to change, but we know well that it may only come a little at time.

How to believe that Jesus is good when it’s back and forth? I’m not sure, except that we just believe he is. That even in this difficult coming of newness to our lives, there’s this sneaking suspicion that God is up to something. Something beyond us. Something that keeps us pressing in even as we meet resistance. Something the moves us forward even when we can’t see the path ahead very clearly.

But goodness wins. God’s goodness wins.

Never before have we been so challenged to walk by faith and not by sight. And I will tell you, friends, that is not easy. Because it sometimes feels like we walk in circles. Sometimes it feels like we walk in quicksand. Sometimes it feels like we are not walking at all. And yet, that is exactly the place God can work his best.

The question is when will he do this best that is rumored to come? And that is not a question we can (or should) answer. Our job is to simply continue to follow as he leads, to listen when he speaks, to remember his last words when he is not speaking, and to wait in whatever faithful way we called to wait.

I did not cause those crocuses to push up from the earth. I do not make the maples put out buds for bees to find. And I do not make healing come to a little boy’s body. Or jobs to come to our careers. Or the future full of dreams to come to pass.

It’s been said that we must work like it depends on us and pray like it depends on God. Sure- I’ll buy that. But often the work is simply about faithfulness. About plodding along in the direction God has for as long as it takes. Often the working we must do is to trust that newness comes, that it pushes out in bursts and spurts. That that is the nature of the Kingdom of God, and our job is to simply do the work of waiting and trusting and listening and putting one step in front of the other… or if he so asks, to sit still when sitting still feels so unproductive.

Today it is hard to resist the jumpy feeling in the soul with the spring weather around us. The budding belief that indeed, God makes all things new. The desire to perceive that new thing is just as much a gift as actually receiving it.

So into the newness we enter, lifting our hands in thanksgiving and eagerly craning our necks to see what God might be doing next.

***

One of the new things we think God is doing is a trip to a special doctor to help figure out our son’s gut problems. We have been working on healing his gut for nearly 16 months and have not succeeded. We have so loved your companionship on our journey so far, but if you feel that you would like to support us financially as we pursue this specialist, please follow this link: Ian’s Medical Journey.

 

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