The Wilderness and the Dry Land Shall Be Glad

Near my front door there are crocus blooms and tulips. These flowers remind me every year that the winter is past and that the spring has arrived.

Seasons change, even if winter seemed like it never wanted to leave this year. There are times in life when a person may wonder if the season of discord and strife will ever go away. We do not live in days of clear unity. But Isaiah promises in Isaiah 35:1-10 that the blossoms of spring will come. The new life and joy of God’s presence will come.

When the winter seems long and the season of grey seems to linger, I like to recall Song of Songs 2:10-11, “My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.”

I trust that the presence of Jesus Christ causes life to blossom with joy in ways that make the winter seem so distant. This morning I shared a message at the memorial service for a longtime homebound member of St. Paul. Iona was a blessed and redeemed child of God, and she now is a part of the church triumphant. The words of Isaiah and Song of Songs were important to me as I recalled how recently the winter days of Iona’s suffering seemed so long . Even as she became weak and feeble in her suffering, she held faithfully to the promise that Jesus Christ is her life and salvation. By faith she held onto the blossoming promises of redemption. Her beloved has spoken, “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.”

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