Though it has been Spring on the calendar for a number of weeks, here in the Northeastern United States the month of May is when Spring really starts to show. The up-and-down temperatures and unsettled weather systems start to moderate into a consistent pattern of warmth, brightness and beauty, and the spectacular blossoming renewal of Spring usually reaches its zenith of splendor.
I count May to be the month of both my natural birth (the 13th) and my spiritual re-birth (the 16th). I've thought often of how appropriate it was that the beginning of my spiritual renewal and inner healing began at this transformational time of year. Winter loosens its icy cold grip and fades away, nature springs back to life from its quiet stillness, bland grayness turns into spectacular hues of color, and everywhere stagnation is infused with regenerative power ... and so it was with the Creator giving the indwelling life of His Spirit to this broken and repentant man. I'll never forget the start of my wonderful journey of spiritual discovery ... an embracing of what author and psychologist Dr. Larry Crabb coins "The Immanuel Agenda": God with us. His infusion and cultivation of a people who will value Him above all else. God in me, and I in Him. It was a pivot point ... a changing of my life's center from me, myself and I to that of The Creator of the Universe who cared enough and came near enough to take restorative action on my behave ... and on behalf of all humanity, should we all care to recognize and embrace it. What a wild, exhilarating, and many times scary ride ... sometimes hanging on white-knuckled to the safety bar! But what change, growth and opportunity to come to know Him like I never thought possible.
I've embedded a song here that I think encapsulates so well what I felt on the day I found the God-man ... or should I say, He found me. I really felt as if I was seeing for the very first time, with fresh Spirit eyes. He made my heart His home.
I hope you enjoy the freshness and wonder of Spring ... and if you haven't experienced a day of re-birth yet, my prayer for you is that someday you will on just as fine a Spring day as I did. Shalom!
"... and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
- from the apostle Paul's love letter to the Romans, 5:5 (NASB)
"Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing."
"I am praying not only for these disciples, but for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father - that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me."
- Jesus of Nazareth (from the Good News according to John, 15:4-5 MSG and 17:20-21 NLT)