My beloved speaks to me and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:10-12
The gifts of joy and spring are intertwined in my mind.
After the long cold winter my heart rejoices to see the first tiny hints of green appear.
My sense of hope and joy grows stronger as the resurrection of spring begins and all of life seems fresh and new.
Waiting for those first signs of new life requires the difficult discipline of patience. Our faith in God requires that same patience.
In his book, Sacred Waiting, David Timms says: "We will only wait on Him with joy if we have deep confidence in His love for us."
Just as we have confidence that spring will arrive in its perfect time, we are called to trust that the same is true of God.
There are dark days in the midst of winter when it seems as if spring will never come. But our thoughts and emotions are not always truth. Spring will return eventually despite how we may feel.
There are also dark times during our journey of faith, especially times of deep suffering and pain, when we may not feel God's love. But the truth is that God's love never fails. Our feelings may fail us but God's love never does.
In Romans Paul proclaims that "neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
The journey of faith takes great patience and perseverance. There may be times when we lose our way and feel forsaken. Joy may be nowhere in sight. Those are the times we must have confidence that God's love will prevail.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Some seasons may bring joy and some may bring pain but they are all part of the cycle of death and new life.
In whatever season we may find ourselves, we can trust in God's goodness and His unfailing love which will never end.