Monday, February 7, 2011

But Before the Spring. . .

Spring IS coming, unless Jesus comes back first.  First, however, we have the rather intensive reminder that it's still winter for now.  Sometimes, things get worse before they get better, but that doesn't negate our hope or the promise that sustains it.

Last Tuesday morning, we in north Texas awoke to this:

The sleet was predicted, so we had opportunity to provision the pantry and protect the pipes.  Once the precipitation ceased, the birds came out to feed, not having had the same anxious preparations.

The expected winter storm stretched into three days of widespread closures, one day of intermittent blackouts, and nesting in our homes as much as possible.  Much of the country faced far more severe effects, but the worst consequences here were the disruption of Superbowl week tourism plans.

Instead of the thaw and inch-or-less of snow predicted for Friday, we woke to inches of snow on top of the first storm's ice.  Ebony went out reluctantly when absolutely necessary, but he was in no mood to linger and build a snowdog.

Saturday we finally received gorgeous blue skies, melting snow and ice, and a visit to the park for the boys to walk and me to look around.

Today again promises beautiful blue skies and more thaw, but more winter may lay ahead on Wednesday.  All of this, again, is creation testifying that we are not in control of the fulfillment of our plans and agendas and that sometimes things get worse before they get better.

The same theme has caught my attention in my Bible reading, in Exodus right now.  When Moses obeys God's call to return to Egypt for his part in God's deliverance of the Israelites from slavery, initially things get worse, much worse, for his already suffering brothers and sisters.  His request for a brief journey to worship their God results in intensified labor and beatings for the foremen.  When the plagues begin, Israel apparently experiences the first three along with the Egyptians, since no distinction is mentioned until the fourth (flies) plague (Exodus 5-8).

The people complain, Moses cries out to Yahweh, and eventually God brings about a deliverance all the more glorious for the delay and hardships.  The Egyptians fill their hands with silver and gold "plunder," and the Lord displays His glory in the plagues, the Passover, and the Red Sea victory (Exodus 7-15).

God spectacularly fulfills His promises, but first the people and their leaders are tested by delay.  What was true for them holds true for me, too: when God has promised good to me and things seem only to be getting worse, will I count the coming spring as sure because He spoke it?  Or will I follow the Israelites' example and whine and complain and quarrel with God for having forgotten me?  Will I despair in winter's trials or drink in the melting snow to nourish my roots for the spring ahead?

Sometimes things get worse before they get better, but spring will come, dear Crumbles.  May God strengthen you today to persevere with hope and joy.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, 
for he who promised is faithful.

And since it's Monday, let me thank God for His good gifts (#3663-3680):
~Winter storms
~Husband working from home two days
~Heat, hot water, and electricity
~The surprising quiet of snow-blanketed world
~Watching the birds in the stark landscape
~Talking to my grandmother twice
~Red collar, black dog, white snow
~Blue skies again
~Warm laundry fresh from the dryer
~My beloved making pancakes for Saturday breakfast
~Wool socks
~Wrapping presents for loved ones
~A note from a friend to start the week
~Sharing books with my sister
~God's mercies ever new


  1. I was thinking something a little like this the other day, when I was organizing/cleaning a room. As I made piles all over the place, I wondered: do things always get worse before they look better? I think maybe. It's like the old adage: it's always darkest right before dawn. It was that way with my friend Bob, too, but he went to be with Jesus Saturday morning. I still haven't put together the bulletin board I mentioned earlier, but that will be a happy project for this week or next. Your posts are ones I never miss; thank you for them, and have a beautiful (even if cold) day!

  2. A wonderful list and reminders. I seem to handle winter well in December and January, but I'm anxious for spring by February. So, I appreciated the truths and scriptures you shared.

    Two funny things in common--my husband made pancakes for us this weekend too, after we got back home. And, I talked on the phone to my grandmother. Made me smile to read these items--and added to my gratitude. Thanks!

  3. @Brandee Shafer My condolences on the loss of your friend; may God comfort you and his family.

    No worries about the bulletin board! Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate you and your time here.

  4. @Tea Girl Small world, isn't it? Have a lovely week. God bless you and yours. Thank you for visiting and your kind words.


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