by Phil Geyer

I almost always appreciate the beauty of winter, at least for a while. However, like everyone who lives in Michigan, at some point I eagerly look forward to the arrival of spring. After what sometimes feels like eight months of winter, I enjoy watching the snow retreat. I can’t say that I saw my first robin last week, since I have seen them all winter, but I did see my first crocus and heard hundreds of tiny spring peepers telling the world that they were looking for little froggy mates.

I am looking forward to walks (and runs) in the woods when it isn’t cold and to going paddling on the Huron River without fearing a hypothermia incident if I should capsize. I am not much of a gardener, I have a “weed thumb”, but I am thinking this year of planting some native wildflower seeds, including milkweed, to help the declining monarch butterfly population. Beautifying my property and helping a small piece of God’s creation, sounds like a win-win to me.

After the long, and all to often gray, days of winter, we see glimpses of green as the grass starts to change and spring flowers start to poke out of the ground. This promise of what is to come is greatly anticipated. It is a time of renewal. What was dead to our eyes, becomes alive again. The miracle of rebirth. The preparation for this quickening has been going on for a while now. The maple sap has been flowing for over a month and a half, filling buckets and swelling buds. In a few weeks, all of a sudden, we will see tens of thousands of perfectly formed little “baby” maple leaves that all to quickly will become full sized.

This promise of what is to come is greatly anticipated. It is a time of renewal.

This is a time of year where I find it particularly easy to be pointed to God by His creation. New life. Renewal. Amazing. Beautiful. Awesome. Not just in mountain vistas, glorious thunderstorms and spectacular sunsets, but in the small swelling buds, the tiny new shoots poking out of the ground, and those little spring peepers.

As I see God again awaking the life around me, I know that my Lord is with me as well. He breathes life into me. He says “Awaken. Look. See. Here I am. Let Me renew.”

He says “Awaken. Look. See. Here I am. Let Me renew.”

I find that there is a bit of winter in my soul. Something that has been making my spirit heavy and gray. I feel like I have been wearing a heavy coat that is slowing me, dragging on me. Unnoticed.

God says to me, “Let Me take that burden. Let Me give you new life. Let Me bring warmth where there is coldness and My Light where it is cloudy and dark. Take My hand and walk further with Me.”

I don’t know where He will lead. I just know that it will be good. The presence of God’s Spirit adds spring to my step. The coldness and darkness have vanished. They can’t stand up to the Light. The amazing adventure with my Lord continues. He knows my heart. I don’t even have to say, “yes”. I just smile and grab His hand as tightly as I can.