See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come; the
cooing of doves is heard in our land.
(Song of Solomon 2:11-12)
Spring is an exciting time of year. Flowers are blooming, the grass is renewing its color, and new life is “springing” forth. It is amazing to see signs of life all around us with baby ducks, geese, and young deer. Chirping birds are calling out spring’s arrival. It reminds us that darkness is fading and the light of day is expanding.
What a fantastic example of God’s creation and the hope that new life emerges out of the darkness and death of winter. Years ago, many churches would plan their spring revivals to renew the souls of their community with hope. This is a time of renewal and refreshing.
It is a reminder in our own lives of the words of David while suffering a significant illness, “For his anger last only a moment, but favor last a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night; joy comes with the morning” (Ps. 30:5). Perhaps you have experienced the “dark days of winter” in this season of your life. English poet Anne Bradstreet writes, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” Are you looking for renewal and hope?
Research has demonstrated extended daylight lifts our mood, energy, and overall sense of well-being. Simple exposure to more light can increase dopamine which is related to pleasure and mood. It is time to get out of our winter cocoons, plant something, take a walk, or have a picnic. For some, this is a time of “spring cleaning,” which is not only about clearing out the clutter that has accumulated in our homes but also an opportunity to clear out the “clutter” in our thoughts. This is often referred to as an “attitude adjustment.”
Viktor Frankl reflected on his years in a Nazi concentration camp, enabling us to understand our attitude’s importance.
He says, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s own attitude in any given set of circumstances – to choose one’s own way.” This is the essence of what Paul instructs in telling us not to conform to this world but to transform our lives by changing our thoughts.
Learn to recognize when you are frequently focusing on negative thoughts, and begin to find the positives in your life. Strive to celebrate the victories in life and not dwell on the challenges you may encounter. Check out the relationships around you and ask if they are healthy for you or tend to be negative and demeaning. This is never a simple process, but it is the foundation for discovering hope and joy in our lives.
Let’s return to the words of David in Psalms: “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” (Ps. 30:10-12, NLT). The greatest reason for hope during this spring season is the joy of Easter, where even death was overcome by the resurrection of Jesus.