I always feel a bit of a thrill when I see buds forming on branches. They are the promise of spring! As I notice seasons change, it makes me think about seasons in our lives. I journaled about this the other day, and I’ll share with you what I wrote:
Aubrey and I played Catan Junior the other day. She is competitive, so I don’t need to go easy on her. We were only a few turns into the game and luck was flat out bad for her. My ships and lairs were piling up and she had nearly nothing.
A downcast, red-faced, despairing look came over her. There was nothing she could do. The game was lost already, without even really playing it. She would burst into helpless tears at any moment.
I’d like to invite you to join me in reading Luke the next few weeks! For me, it’s meaningful to think on the life of Christ in the weeks leading up to Easter. I like to read one of the four gospels at least once a year, because it gives us an excellent way to get to know Jesus. We come to know him and learn from him as we see his actions, hear his words, and gain a sense of his heart for God and people.
By starting now, we can read about five chapters a week for five weeks (there are 24 chapters in Luke). Then the readings for his death and resurrection will line up close to Easter!
We all have hard seasons in our lives. In these desert places, sometimes there is some thing we are waiting for and want, like a career change or people to connect with. Or, there is some thing we are living with that we don’t want, like illness or a difficult relationship. We hope and pray things change quickly. But when it doesn’t, how can we live and love well in that season?
I’ve been thinking about how God is life-giving in the midst of stress, suffering, and the various hard things we often experience. Jeremiah 17:5-8, the “parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land” makes me think of alkali flats, an area near my home.
Out of the corner of my eye, I became aware of a flock of black birds flitting outside our back windows. A large number of birds flew together searching for food. It’s winter. Cold. Rather barren. And in the midst of these realities, God provides food for the birds in the form of small fruit on our tree. This makes me think of Jesus’ words:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” ~Matthew 6:25-27