by Kenny Rader
Yep, I did it again. Last month you read this article and had the song, Spoonful of Sugar, stuck in your mind. This month we’re singing a different song: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Bet you couldn’t read that title without the tune could you? Wait a minute! This is a Christmas song, and in my mind, I can hear Andy Williams singing it.
Focus Kenny, focus. But I AM focusing because for me, spring is the most wonderful time of the year – along with Christmas. Now, please bear with me because I realize many of you will argue for your most wonderful time of the year. Many of you love the different seasons, and each one has its own beauty. Summer has children laughing and having fun in the sun. Autumn has cool temperatures, camp ﬁres, and brilliant colors. And winter has fresh falling snow that blankets the earth. But spring is my favorite because of all the dazzling colors and new life.
While animals give birth to live babies, much of the plant world is different. Plants give birth to seeds that have to die so they can live. Jesus used the example of death giving way to life in John 12:24 when He taught about His coming death and resurrection.
24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
- John 12:24 (NIV)
Jesus said a seed has to die so that it can live and multiply. We need winter in order to have spring so that we have new life. I know this does not apply to many parts of the world, especially the tropical climates, but it certainly ﬁts here in Ohio. Winter is God’s way of preparing nature for spring. And spring is the response to the lifelessness of winter.
When spring arrives, it is as though God begins a new painting on a clean canvas. After the pure white snows of winter melt away, the uncovered landscape is blah and drab. It’s as though life doesn’t exist. But as the snow melts away, it doesn’t take long to see the early crocuses in colors of lilac, mauve, yellow and white that managed to pop up from under the snow and are now revealed to give some of the earliest signs of life. It isn’t much, but when we consider crocus in the backdrop of the grays and browns of winter, they are much-anticipated signs of life and very beautiful.
After the crocus, many more ﬂowers follow in an array of color. The once barren landscape turns into God’s masterpiece as trees and bushes bloom as though performing a three-act play unfolding on God’s earthly stage.
Read what God speaks in the book of Isaiah the prophet
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and ﬂourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
God told His people that His Word is as solid as the certainty of nature. Rain and snow come from heaven to water the earth, supplying moisture for seeds to germinate, grow, and ﬂourish. God waters the land so the ﬂowers, bushes, and trees can break out in beauty.
But it isn’t only plants that supply the excitement of spring. On a warm spring day, a lone queen bumblebee buzzes awkwardly back and forth as she seeks out a ﬂower for nectar and then continues on her way in search of a place to build a nest. Robins, hummingbirds, and other migrating fowl return, building nests, laying their eggs, and raising their young. Soon, baby animals appear scurrying across the carpet of new growth grass.
Farmers work their ﬁelds and plant their crops. Gardeners do the same in their small patches of freshly turned soil. The sun shines; the soil warms; and life explodes in ﬁelds, meadows, and yards.
How can we say, “Thank you” to God for all this beauty and new life? Do we only thank God for all He has done at Thanksgiving in the autumn? Shouldn’t we also thank Him daily?
Listen to the words of David as he praises God. 31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
31 let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” 32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the ﬁelds be jubilant, and everything in them! 33 Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. 34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” 36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
- 1 Chronicles 16: 31-36
It truly is a most wonderful time of the year. Let’s thank God daily for life and all His beauty.