Spring Cometh

We're home from Dallas. It was a fabulous "vocation," as Natalie says. What's not to like about a trip where you hang out with good friends and talk for three days straight, where your kids play with their kids without fighting, and where you have to neither cook nor clean up? Heaven, y'all. That's heaven.

(Of course, I'm lamenting -- Jeremiah-style -- that I didn't know about Sprinkles before I left the Big D. And I never did make it to Keller's Drive-In. Or Scalini's. But I did eat at a barbecue joint I'll be dreaming about for the rest of my days. Sigh.)

But we're home now, and thankful to be here. There's nothing quite like your own pillow, you know?

Plus, I'm happy to report, spring cometh to the Upper Midwest. When I woke up the morning after our return and looked at my window, this is what I saw:

What's remarkable about this picture is what's NOT in it -- mainly, snow and ice. It's hard to believe this was the scene in our backyard just three weeks ago:

But then again, that's spring in our neck of the woods. Just when you think you can't stand one more day of snow and ice and indoor living, the sun comes out and the rain falls and hope rises again.

I was thinking about this one morning last week as I drove Natalie to school. The hope of spring in the Upper Midwest is palpable. You can almost taste it in the air. But it's not a hope as we usually think of hope. It's more of a God-hope. The Greek word often translated hope in the New Testament is elpis or elpo. It isn't just a wish or a desire or a possibility. It's a certainty. The Strong's definition for elpo is "to anticipate, usually with pleasure; an expectation or confidence."

In other words, it's a sure thing. It's coming. Just like spring.

I can hardly wait for those flowers to shoot out of the ground and the leaves to unfurl. I long for the warm sun to shine upon my face and bare arms. I am giddy about the thought of my windows being open so I can hear the birds singing in the morning light.

Until then, I hope.

I love this passage in The Message:

"The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens. All around us, we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy."

An eternal spring cometh. Isn't that amazing?!? Lord, grow our joyful anticipation. Plant seeds of your elpis in our hearts so we will burst forth with beauty and a fragrant worship when the Sun shines once again. Our hope is in You.


  1. Oh, I love this! What great verses from the Message! I haven't visited that bbq place before, but I will have to add it to my list.

  2. Joyful expectation. I love it. Our hope--the Biblical kind--is most definitely in Him.