The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
Lent literally means “springtime.” It is a time when we prepare for Easter, when we remember how Christ prepared for Easter. John’s gospel says Jesus was anointed for burial with an expensive perfume poured on His feet, wiped with a woman’s hair. He washed His disciples’ feet. He went away to pray. He prayed for us and for the world. He broke bread. He commissioned a new and lasting covenant before the work was done.
As his disciples, how will we prepare for springtime, for Easter? How will we remember when there is still winter and mornings are still dark? In the gardens of our souls it can be difficult to imagine and hope for what we cannot see. Doubt is easy: doubts about ourselves, about others, about our situations, about our futures. Discouragement is easy. Bitterness is easy. Yet we long for what is to come. We long for Christ to come and make all things new. We long for him to come as surely as the arrival of dawn, as surely as the coming of rains in early spring. Faith is good. Thankfulness is good. Christ is good.
What seeds are you planting now–before spring arrives, before you can see it? What seeds of faith will you lay low into the earth, trusting that God is aware, that he cares, that he is working in the darkness, through the darkness? What seeds will you take hold of, holding fast that his light always prevails?
This is our cross to bear, the easy yoke, part of our union with Christ: a mysterious and glorious plan. So plant the seeds of faith. Believe and don’t doubt that the seeds that look miniscule, the bulbs that look disproportionate and ugly, that are planted into a cold earth, a dark earth, a deep earth–this is where gardens come from: lush, colorful, alive, brimming gardens. What is impossible by sight is possible by faith through Christ.
Springtime will come. He will respond to us. He does respond to us. Spring emerges gradually. He is transforming. So let us prepare. Let us remember. Let us remain steadfast. Christ is near. He is with us.
Prayer: Dear Father, we are unable to do life in our own strength, but we trust you and what you say, knowing that you walked the journey before us. As we wait for your light to come again, we trust that you are working in our lives, working in love, and working all things together for our good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Contributed by Karen Stelter