This spring I was out for a hike and was overcome by the beauty of budding things. Bright spots, everywhere. Plants all around had little splashes of color on the tips, a lighter, brighter patch of green, a budding little flower—all signs of new growth.
As I walked around, I started thinking about my life. What are the bright spots in my life? ARE there bright spots in my life? What are the tell-tale signs of growth? I rarely see myself well, so it began a conversation between myself and God. “What are the areas You see me growing in, Lord? What are the areas You want to see me growing in?”
Now the seasons are changing again and things are dying. They are dying, but with an equally stunning beauty and brilliance of that which marked their growth. Death – it never sounds like a good thing, but the dying is necessary. It’s necessary in nature, and it’s necessary in my life. The Bible says that we are to die to self. We are to identify with Jesus in His death, so that we can also identify with Him in His resurrection. If I’m to know the power of the resurrection, I have to die.
So now I’m asking God another question, “What are the areas in me that need to die?” What are the areas of self love, what are my idols, what are the rights I cling to, where are the areas of bitterness or unforgiveness? What are my self-indulgences, my vanities, my sins? These are the things that need to die in me, making way for the bright spots of spring and growth and resurrection.
It’s hard to die. It can be excruciating to put to death your flesh. But oh what a beauty it is when the leaves begin to change and the signs of death begin to be seen. It’s true for us as well. There is something radiant when we come face to face with someone who has learned to live like Jesus did, dying to self so that His Spirit may bloom.
A few verses about what must die:
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. …now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d] with its practices10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 3:5, 8-10
A few verses about bright spots:
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness,humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17
Let us be certain that God made the seasons to teach us a thing or two about life. Let us model them in both our growth and our death, never forgetting that each is as beautiful as it is necessary in its own right.
Pics from my Spring Hike
Fall foliage pics