The grass is growing and turning green, I think I'll have to mow soon, especially since it rained last night. And our lawn was already long to begin with since it hasn't been mowed since September, maybe.
The rye is starting to get more green also. The warm days will really help it to shoot up in height, and before we know it, it will be time to harvest it and plant corn.
The trees are getting buds on them. I can't wait for the dogwoods to bloom, they are one of the most beautiful trees. And lilacs too, I love their scent!
The flowers are starting to peak their heads out. The little daffodils have been blooming for days, and soon the big ones will too. I think I like daffodils so much because they are so bright after the dull grayness of winter. They just say, "surprise, spring is here!"
And with spring coming, many people try to transform themselves. From our bodies to our mood to the clothes that we wear, we feel it's time for change.
I was reading from Ephesians 4 this morning, and Paul talks a lot about transformation in this chapter. I won't copy the whole chapter here because it would be pretty long. You can read it for yourself some time, find a Bible or look it up online. But several different verses stuck out to me.
"Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love."
"Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy."
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."
These passages speak to me of transformation. All the verses that I pulled out have the word "instead" in them. Paul points out how we act or used to act and says, don't be that way anymore, "instead" live this other way and allow the Spirit to work in you to transform you more and more like Christ.
Transformation brings growth, just like the seasons are starting to transform and plants are starting to grow. It may not always be growth that we can see so well as in spring-time, but it is transformation and growth. Even though the trees' leaves change and die in the fall, the tree, if it is still connected to the ground and being nourished by it's root system, is still growing even though the outside becomes barren.
In my life, there are definite days of spring and also days of winter. I feel newness and growth when I am focused on God, but when I get distracted by my problems or worries I feel like everything is gray and dead.
Growth can be very painful. Josiah reminds me often that hard times make us grow, my reply is often (jokingly) "I don't think I want to grow anymore."
Yesterday in Sunday school, we were talking a little about growing.
In John 15:1-4, Jesus says,
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me."
Pruning trees and bushes helps them to be more productive. But it sounds painful, and pain is something that I don't like to experience. But if we don't grow then the other option is to be cut off, and that sounds painful too. So I think I would rather still be connected and feel the pain that leads to growth instead of getting cut off and feeling the pain that leads to the death of me and my emotions.