I’ve been banking on one more good snow day, but in the dark, rainy early Saturday morning, thunder rumbled, heralding the arrival of Spring, I felt a moment’s disheartening, but I can’t stop Spring from coming early if that’s what Spring is going to do. Weather rumblings and weather coups aren’t under my control, but knowing the signs and heeding the messages do require my attention. . . yours, too, for both big and little reasons.
According to Foxfire’s Appalachian mountain lore of when to plant, when to harvest, and when Springtime comes, Winter has been overthrown. Winter won’t go quietly, though. Skirmishes will follow with smaller mini-winter minions trying to bluster and chill the grace and beauty out of a bonny Spring: Pear Blossom Winter, Dogwood Winter, Blackberry Winter to name a few. Spring, though, is resilient, strengthened by the one who created her. She knows she is capable of enduring through whatever Winter throws at her because she knows who created her and empowered her to endure.
Spring knows the over-eager pear-tree blossoms will burst out too early and their beauty will not be able to linger long because of their eager rashness. Yet, they will fulfill their God-designed plan. She knows many will be disappointed that the lilac’s blossoms, too, will have their visit shortened, but she also knows that by not overstaying their welcome, those who enjoy her company will savor it more deeply. She knows, too, the violet endures quietly, yet beautifully content regardless of what weather comes with Spring.
Thunder rolling on a dark February morning? It’s a sign passed down from generation to generation. A groundhog seeing its shadow? Snow on the ground in December? Red sky at night tomorrow will be bright?? Haloed moons forecasting inclement weather? Fog rolled out on the ground in January heralding spring coming in a mess of rain. I heard Thunder rolling around in November whispering promises of garden bounty next summer. . . Rain before 7 a.m. quits by 11 .m. . . . February fogs predicting May frosts?
Every region has these hand-me-down weather signs. Some take them seriously. Some don’t even think of them. Some religiously plant and harvest by them. They still have the ability to teach us. . . to teach us how to read the signs. They are God-designed training manuals to teach us to discern the everyday ordinary signs of planting and harvesting, of seasons coming and going, of birth, death, and re-births. Earthly patterns that reflect the patterns of heaven. God designed these patterns to teach us to be watchful – watchful of the everyday ordinary living patterns, so that we will be better able to recognize, to acknowledge the signs of something extraordinary – the signs of His coming.
While the Foxfire books teach us the lore, wisdom and traditions handed down for planting, harvesting and living “off-the-grid” when “off-the-grid” was the norm, the Bible teaches us the signs, wisdom, and wonders to look for in Christ’s second coming: one ordinary, on extraordinary.
Jesus said, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” (Luke 12:54-56).
Jesus doesn’t seem to take ignorance as an excuse.
My head can get lost in the lists of end-time signs: offended people, betrayals, lawlessness, darkened suns and lightless moons, stars falling from the heavens, shakings. . . Israel born in a day is a sign listed in (Amos, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Leviticus, Deuteronomy). . . . These are just a few. People have written books on what scripture says about it. Preachers preach about it. . . the lore, the stories, the wisdom. . . Yet despite the books and the sermons, too many have neglected the biblical signs along with the knowledge of reading nature’s guidebook on planting and harvesting.
It took discipline and diligence to keep an eye intentionally on the signs for planting, when yearly survival depended on it. Yet in our country, most of us haven’t needed to be intentional about growing and planting, so oftentimes, the reading the signs of the season has become a neglected knowledge. It takes intentionality to keep up with the signs of the seasons – Biblically, too.
Like the violet that lives contentedly despite what weather comes with Spring, I look at the signs, look to recognize and instead of shivering in fear and dismay only to shuffle through the list of signs again, as though worrying them, re-looking, worrying, re-looking, I decided there was only one thing I could do. . . well, maybe two.
The first thing is to my wick of faith trimmed and my lamp filled with oil to be ready for the Bridegroom when He returns. Friends, it’s time to be intentional, to be diligent, to be wakeful and watchful. The groom and his party’s arrival is imminent. Need we be fearful? How do we walk this out in a daily when we have people to take care of? Bills to pay? Responsibilities to be met? How do we live ready when the signs herald, “Time is drawing nigh?”
The second thing is to tell those God sends across my path about our Father who is calling us home, so that they can come, too. Despite the bills needing to be paid, there are his lost children to bring home. Despite daily responsibilities, there are his lost children who need to know their Father. They won’t know to be excited about the bridegroom and his party arriving. They don’t know what that means.
But we do. . . Can you see the signs of Spring coming? Can you see the signs of Jesus coming again? The Bridegroom returning? Keep an eye on the signs, and a heart reaching out to bring the lost children home before it’s too late.
Places I’m Linking at This Week:
Inspire Me Monday, Instaencouragements,
Legacy Link-Up, Recharge Wednesday
Faith on Fire, Tell His Story, Grace&Truth
Let’s Have Coffee Wednesday Celebrate Your Story
Scripture&Snapshot, Sunday Scripture Blessing