Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Strong Roots for Supple Limbs (by Peter A. Black)

Who in Southwestern Ontario (and most of Southern Canada, perhaps) needs convincing that
spring’s here – I mean, really here? There’s no doubt now. Despite decidedly snappy starts to some days and brisk morning breezes, nature’s been heralding spring’s arrival for weeks. Robins bobbed along for quite a while, singing their sweet song, pairing up and busying themselves building nests in readiness for starting a family. Numerous avian returnees followed their lead.

Ah, spring – season of new life and new beginnings!
Foliage now clothes the nakedness of winter’s dormancy, ready to offer hospitality to a host of creatures and sunshade for people fair of skin.  Forsythia and magnolia shouted a colourful welcome, and blossoming trees continue to praise their Creator, announcing the promise of fruit.

Source Credit: ClipartFest.com
No wonder the Christian community celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ in spring, at Easter. I continue to meet people who’ve experienced a springtime in their lives because Jesus has become real to them and a living entity within them.

Early this spring my wife and I had the honour of participating in a memorial service to a lady who, in her early senior years opened up her life in faith to the Lord Jesus in a new way.
Last fall she married her long-time sweetheart, then was baptized as a Christ-follower and became a member of the church fellowship that became a recent part of her life’s journey. During the period of her making these commitments she was forward-looking, despite serious illness.
This was a time of new beginnings, she said.

One day I accompanied her pastor – my friend Andy – when visiting her in hospital. She intimated to us that she was at peace and had absolutely no fear of dying. If not granted recovery this lady knew she would go to be with the Lord she loved. Upon reflection I realise that, although physically in the concluding season of her earthly life, this person was truly living in the springtime of her new life “in Christ” – to use a scriptural term.

It was late autumn physically for her, because the fading leaves of her earthly existence had fully turned and were now falling; only a few remained. And yet hers was a hope-filled springtime spiritually. And so, with my wistful and respectful reflections on that lady, who’d become my friend, let’s get back to spring.

Credit, Free Images: Getty
Spring, summer and autumn are wonderful months for weddings. Next weekend, God willing, Rev. Andy will officiate at another wedding and I’ll be at the organ. With measured steps, the bride – a middle-aged lady – will glide regally to meet her groom at that same altar to be wed in the sight of God, while I sing, Walk Hand in Hand with Me.* This couple is also stepping onto the road of new beginnings, suggested in these lines from that song “Walk hand in hand with me, God is our destiny; No greater love could be . . .”

Source: Midwest Living
With divorce rates in North America nudging close to 50% many young people and even second-time-around older couples are giving up on traditional marriage unions, opting instead for common-law arrangements. Not surprisingly, some millennials, traumatized by their parents’ break-ups, are fearful of declaring strong, traditional Christian-based vows.

I invariably lift up silent prayer in behalf of friends and acquaintances who stand at an altar “in the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses” to declare their intentions of fidelity in marriage.

The seasons of life inevitably lead to the chilly blasts of winter. How important to develop strong roots, resilient trunks and supple limbs during life’s spring and summer.


* Composer: Johnny Cowell. © 1956 Republic Music Corp.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_Jw3z4WuuOg/U4pjDiiDyiI/AAAAAAAAAmA/4aXdXL94crkK1n8wS3VHmleqmFr65XMfwCPcB/s1600/4%2B%25282%2529PortrtMay14.jpgPeter A. Black lives in Southwestern Ontario. He writes a weekly inspirational newspaper column, P-Pep! and is author of Raise Your Gaze ... Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart, and Parables from the Pond. ~~+~~


Rose McCormick Brandon said...

I love this, Peter. The beautiful thought of a woman in her "winter" years experiencing the "spring-time" of her life with Christ is a gripping one. A very satisfying read.

Peter Black said...

Thank you, Rose. Among my prayers and hopes are those for a growing harvest of older adults to be gathered into the fold of the peace and grace of God in time for them to enjoy their salvation - the fruit of "good seed" that was sown into their lives during their younger years. And of course that they will also impact their families and friends through their 'new life in Jesus.' ~~+~~

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Older adults - a harvest field waiting for reapers like you, Peter. May God grant all of us many souls for His Kingdom.

Glynis said...

Lovely and encouraging in this world of fleeting relationships and flippant vows. I love, too, like Rose pointed out - the woman in her winter years experiencing her springtime in Christ. So hopeful, those words seem.
Thank you for a lovely, uplifting post that celebrates the joy of the Lord and reminding us of the plans He has for us.

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