2 Corinthians 5:17-19
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
While living in sunny, sandy Florida for nearly six years, I forgot how muddy and messy the spring thaw of the north can be. I first noticed it this past weekend when we pulled into my in-law’s unpaved driveway. Ked and I looked at each other and groaned. There was no way to avoid it. The car was covered, our shoes were covered, it grazed the hems of our pants.
We’re in the midst of the in-between season, where the snow has mostly melted revealing a world that is brown and bare. The trees reach their naked arms to the sky begging to be clothed in buds and blooms. The sun’s golden rays touch their tips, illuminating their starkness. It will be weeks before the world is colored in with flowers and lush grass and woods thick with green.
There was a season in my own life, not too long ago, much like the spring thaw. I had grown cold with bitterness and anger towards God and my husband and a short list of others. Life had taken some rather unfair turns, none of which I felt were my fault. Mercifully, God’s truth began to shine into my life, melting my icy heart. He revealed that I’d built guard towers of icy pride.
As I saw His grace and mercy shining into my soul, I felt so bare and exposed like the early spring trees. All I could see was my ugliness and sin. I was so ashamed. At first, it felt like I should have stayed hidden behind the layers of ice.
Slowly, just like the gradual coming of spring, He began to grow His life in me. I started to remove the lies that had imbedded my soul and heal the wounds with God’s Word. I began to take the steps of offering forgiveness and grace. I tiptoed out of my comfort zone and let people start to see the real me, even though this work in progress still has a lot of bare spots.
Then one day, I realized, my life was thick and lush with forgiveness and friendships and community and grace. Everything had been made new and more beautiful than ever before. I’m far from perfect and I have many patches of brown. But the majority of the mud turned into fertile soil where I do my best to allow God to plant His seeds of life.
If you’re in the midst of a thaw and life is getting a bit muddy, hang on. Spring DOES come, and the life that God grows will be so beautiful.