I have watched the last brown, stubborn oak leaves hang on through the winter winds and freezing rains, and it is time for them to release their death grip and be gone. New life is coming in the form of young, green oak leaves. Leaves that will shade us from the hot Georgia sun, leaves that will provide cover for animals, leaves that will swish in the wind, turning over as a summer thunderstorm approaches.
Those oak leaves sure do hang on for a long time, death swinging on a branch. I am not much of a winter person, and all of the gray and brown dulls my spirit, it seems. Spring is a beautiful season, not just because of its colors, but as a symbol of renewal and life. Things that have been cold and gray transform into shades of green under a spring sun.
I have had a winter heart at times, nothing growing, no beauty, just gray. There have been hurts and hang-ups that have held onto me like those dead, crunchy oak leaves. I just couldn’t shake them, couldn’t find freedom and healing.
Then spring came. God ushered in a time of brokenness in me that led to new life.
The dead leaves were finally pushed off- judgment, unforgiveness, and pride. Once their hold was released, joy in all of its brilliant green covered me. Renewal from within.
As we welcome in this new season, I pray that we will search our hearts for winter’s deadness still hanging onto us: an unforgiving spirit, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, toxic relationships, discontentment, arrogance, self-reliance, prayerlessness, disrespect for a spouse, unhealthy expectations, addiction, gossip. Once we confess and let go of the things that bring death, then Jesus can bring life. Real life, abundant life.
If we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
The thief comes only to steal and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, abundant life. John 10:10