I’ve never really experienced spring, or at least I’ve never experienced a true winter and welcomed spring so wildly. This morning we walked to our favorite bagel shop and realized spring is absolutely everywhere. Every tree seemed to be blooming, there are tulips all over the place, bright yellows and whites. Cherry blossom trees are in full bloom and lawns look like maybe they could be mowed soon. Birds are chirping vibrantly and as I stopped to take a picture of a blooming tree we realized it was swarmed with bees, an almost soothing hum filling the air as they got to work for the season.
Spring is absolutely necessary after a long, gray winter. I was thoroughly warned about Kentucky winters, and it was long and gray, but today I realized it was all worth it. The appreciation I feel for the new life springing up all around me, for being able to open up the windows and turn off the heat, is so wonderful.
As we walked to breakfast this morning we talked a little about renewal. It was in the air and all around us so it seemed natural to talk about what inward renewal looks like for us too. Michael needs time away, out in the wilderness to find clarity and to get centered. He is setting off for a couple of days on the Appalachian Trail by himself later this week to get just that. I on the other hand need to remember to feel renewed; to see where God has worked in my life, to remember the ways he has delivered me and rescued me, to see how he has stayed by my side in the darkest of times and the most jovial of times. Remembering for me brings me back to realizing God is who he says he is and I am who he says I am.
God knew what he was doing with spring. This morning it was if everywhere we looked he was saying, “I am here. I am here. I am here.” Nature was singing out, “He is here! He is here! He is here!” He was here in the winter, even when we couldn’t see him or feel him and here he is in all his glory in the spring, showing up in unexpected places, reminding us that his presence is enough, that he hasn’t abandoned us.
Sometimes it’s so hard to know God is present when he doesn’t change our circumstances. When I think of God being present and moving, I think about him making big changes and taking control of the difficult situations in my life. But today I’ve realized there are lots of seasons when he is just here, just present. And in being present with me and around me, he may be moving inside me, changing my perspective, asking me to surrender my ideas of how things should be going instead of actually changing my external circumstances. I have to surrender to that. Well, I guess I don’t have to, but when I do it makes me realize spring is all around me.
My friend Ben quotes an old favorite band of mine quite a bit. Every time he quotes the lyrics of this particular Me Without You song I realize just how much my soul longs to feel the same…
“I used to wonder where you are- these days I can’t find where you’re not.”
May we allow ourselves to be renewed in God’s presence. May we let his presence be enough. May we never stop believing he can move mountains but may we never give up as we trudge up them with him by our side.