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Spring is just about done now, and we’re moving into early summer.  It’s beautiful.  It’s wonderful—that is, it causes me to be full of wonder!
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In the springtime it’s easy to see God’s love.  New life is everywhere, gorgeous flowers, glorious days.  If we have our spiritual eyes open, we can see in all of this a figure of resurrection—life re-emerging from the ground.  God built this yearly reminder into His creation deliberately.  Just as daily we arise from sleep, as a figure of rising from the “sleep” of death.

Of course, I live in the northern hemisphere.  In the southern hemisphere autumn is heading into winter.

In the springtime it’s easy to see God’s love. 

Those who, like me, live in a temperate climate know the depth of winter, the bitter cold, the treacherous ice, the leaden sky—and we are affected.  It’s easy to feel down.  Easier to wonder, “Where is God?”

It’s natural to feel good on a lovely day, surrounded by beauty, and to feel not-so-good on a dreary day.  Which ought to make us pause, because what comes “naturally” generally comes from the flesh and we should consider it suspect.

The seasons change, everything in creation changes with them.  But the Creator who originated all of it doesn’t.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

The shadows change daily, and seasonally, but the change is not in the sun—it’s the earth that spins, that revolves around the sun with a tilt.  I think all this was designed in, for us to think about.  Ups and downs, daily and seasonally, are of the earth—if all we do is look at what’s of the earth, we will fail to see the constancy of the light, which comes from the “Father of lights”.

David got it.  He wrote,

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Psalm 139:7-8)

Do you think David was contemplating a literal trip to heaven, or to the grave?  What he says would be true, literally, because God truly is omnipresent.  But if we look at the whole psalm, David is expressing his wonder—I would say inexpressible wonder, except that he is able to express it!  One piece of that expression is that, even in the wildest imaginable extremes of being “up” and “down”, God is there, constant.

Here’s the lesson I’m seeing.  When we “ascend to heaven”—whether in response to a beautiful spring day or anything else—we should capitalize on it.  By all means, accept the gift of that “up” time.

And when we are in “Sheol”—as down as we can be—let’s not forget what David writes a few verses later:

“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” (verse 12)

What looks to us like deep darkness, what looks to us like bitter winter, isn’t dark to God.  He still sees, still loves, is still with us, no matter where we go, emotionally.  Built right into creation, spring will follow winter, day will follow night.  We will arise from sleep.  We will arise from Sheol.  Emotionally, spiritually, literally.

Love, Paul

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