I am blessed to live just a mile from John James Audubon State Park in Henderson, Kentucky. After work today I decided to head that way and take a walk. It didn’t take long for me to come to the conclusion that spring has definitely arrived in western Kentucky. Not only were there the proverbial robins hopping around, there were wildflowers everywhere. I saw Dutchmen’s breeches, toothwort, squirrel corn and bloodroot in bloom. I also observed Virginia bluebells, trillium and anemones beginning to emerge. In only a matter of days there will be a wonderful floral display for anyone willing to take even a short walk in the woods. If I had taken the same walk just a couple of weeks ago I would not have seen the many flowers I did this afternoon. Winter still held its grip on the landscape. I may not have been able to see them then but I would have known that they were coming. Spring wildflowers are as predictable as spring itself. Even on the most frigid snowy day of winter you know it’s just a matter of weeks before you will begin to see new life emerging from the earth.
Alexander Pope long ago penned the famous line “hope springs eternal.” Nature has a way of reminding us that things do not remain as they are. Spring always follows winter. In fact, it is the hope of spring’s arrival that enables a lot of us to get through the dreary and cold days of winter. In winter’s darkest hour we know a brighter day is coming.
There is a corresponding truth in the spiritual realm. Many people experience times in their life that may well be compared to the cold and dark days of winter. These times can come in any season of the year or in our lives. We get discouraged or depressed. We feel lonely and isolated. Some may begin to lose hope when winter seems to characterize their lives. But I believe that hope truly does spring eternal, that there is always hope of better days to come. This hope is based purely on my faith in God.
Hebrews 11:1 says “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” When it’s winter in our lives, just like when it’s winter in nature, we have the assurance that spring will come. My faith leads me to believe that with God in the picture there is always a better day to come. I am certainly not naïve; I realize that here on earth that the “better day” we desire does not always arrive. Still I am “sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I believe that this life is not all that there is and that there is a far better day waiting for us on the other side of death’s door. One way or another a better day is coming!
I think I now understand why God arranged for Easter to take place in spring…
(I took the pictures used above at John James Audubon State Park this afternoon.)