Hi, Rob here. It is now officially spring here in New Zealand. It’s felt like spring for a while now actually. There are new-born lambs and calves in the fields, blossom on the trees that adorn our streets, daffodils in abundance and people flocking to our parks and gardens. It’s a fragile transition though. The forecast is for snow and frost later in the week and there will be wind and rain at some stage too. Did you know that we are just like a New Zealand spring. We have changed! Our hearts have been made new in Christ Jesus. We are part of his resurrection and his life. We are new creations. But it feels like a fragile change doesn’t it?
Spring can be annoying. The lawns need to be mowed more often. There is a horrible sticky pollen all over my car at the moment. It can be sunny in the morning and raining in the afternoon. Spring can be joyous. I watched the birds flit about and sing their hearts out this morning as I enjoyed a coffee in the sun. This is what life looks like for us this side of Christ’s return. We’re longing for summer, but with Christ in us, it is no longer winter. Here’s how Paul puts it in Romans 8:22-25 (The Message):
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.
We are new creations but we’re also becoming new creations. We are alive in Christ but we’re also becoming alive in Christ. We’re learning to live out of who we really are in Christ. We’re dealing with an active enemy, a sinful world and an old self that we’re still dying to and still a little bit alive to. Winter returns for a time and it becomes hard to remember that we’re in a new season and living a new life. It is spring. It is messy. It is annoying. It is filled with the promise of resurrection. It is a season of hope. It is joy. It is tough. Winter is terminal and summer is not yet. Christ is with us but he’s yet to come. The promise is sure though and the Spirit in us is real. I turn to Paul again:
Those who enter into Christ’s being-her-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
Thursday was wet. Fronts from all directions combined and the rain came in force. Friday was stunning. A southerly breeze cleared the messy skies and revealed a beautiful creation. Christ is coming. Say goodbye to winter. Enjoy the beauty of spring. Summer will soon be here. Amen! Come Lord Jesus.