A few years ago, I traveled to Nashville for Audrey Assad and Andrew Peterson’s “The Burning Edge Of Dawn Tour.” Beloved voices joined with mine to sing of God’s beauty and sovereignty. With the green of blooming earth glowing in our eyes and lungs full of fresh spring air, the promises we sang were easy to believe.
After having COVID-19 twice (once during Christmas) and nearing the first anniversary of a pandemic, my lungs no longer fill the way they used to. Songs that once flowed smoothly from my lips now often freeze in my throat. The lives of so many I’ve loved float like ice down the Missouri River—briefly gliding by, then disappearing. This very week, I received word a dear mentor of mine went to be with Jesus.
Like so many others, I feel death pervading this world as plainly as I see the tulips buried in the snow of this brutal winter. In what seems like such a long winter, I can’t help but wonder, “Is spring coming?”
I think this question speaks to a deeper truth about how God designed humanity. Our minds, bodies, and souls are helped by tangible reminders of the intangible.
In his kindness, God designed the natural world to help us learn about himself in light of his Word. Though we only truly know God through Scripture, the Bible gives us language about the likeness between certain physical and spiritual things for the benefit of our comprehension.
When speaking with the Samarian woman at the well, Jesus says, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again,” promising: “The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:11).
Feeling sunlight kiss my skin after stepping out from a shadow reminds me how sweet it is to no longer be a child of darkness, but one of light (Eph. 5:8). The farmer who tosses out seed knows the value of patience and the feeling of complete dependence for growth (Jm. 5:7). Every time we take communion, the bread and the wine on our tongues cause remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ offered up for our salvation (1 Cor. 11:23-26).
I ardently long for spring because my heart needs to remember. The dying leaves of fall spoke to me impermanence. The summer harvest gently hummed the rewards of steadfastness. For now, the winter whispers longsuffering. But one day, spring will sing of promise once again.
Every green sprout and unfolding flower will remind my soul that death does not have the final word. I will listen to the rustle of the trees that will one day clap with joy; I will look to the mountains and hills knowing one day unhindered praise will pour forth from them (Is. 55:12). I will thank God for the grace it is to have a glimpse of hopes fulfilled.
Until then, I will remain steadfast.
Spring is coming.
 This is a reference to John Piper’s poem “Swimming in Winter,” inspired by 2 Cor. 6:10. Read it here: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/swimming-in-winter