©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
When new growth returns to our yards – and our hearts – the dormant and the dark give way as blooms push forth in the light.
After enduring the dark, cold days of winter, multi-colored pansies seem heartier and stronger than ever.
Bright yellow daffodils dance with delight, their tubular “mouths” open as if in awe. Tulips push their lime-green stalks through the earth softened by rain.
Early budding trees pop their vivid fuchsia, pale pink, and bright white splashes of color on previously barren branches.
As sunshine lengthens and lights up our days more and more, we too can emerge with renewed energy, gratitude and hope.
The fulfilled promise of renewal, of rebirth, of rejuvenation washes us in water from the sky and revitalizes us with new growth, ready to bear fruit and bloom brightly.
Recently I’ve been taking steps to prepare our yard to stimulate plant growth for maximum enjoyment. Spiritual reblooming shares some similar practices.
Winter winds and storms threw down lots of branches, scattering them all across my field of vision so I’ve been gathering those up and getting rid of them while also clearing out dead brush. But I couldn’t do it all myself. I’m not tall enough nor do I have the equipment to cut off roof-top high branches. The help I got to remove errant branches so they don’t grow wildly, and to cut bushes and limbs away from the house to protect it, was a necessary and worthwhile investment.
In our lives, we often end up with broken, rotted and fungus-bearing pieces (or practices) that threaten to trip us up or obscure our sightlines by drawing our focus to them. By eliminating those, we can allow more new growth and clear a path to better see and hear from the Lord.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:41-45 NIV
Spring rains water on bulbs, bushes and trees allowing them to absorb nutrients for growth. Sunshine provides energy to turn the soil, air and water into what plants need to flourish. Fertilizer stimulates the soil and provides food for plants to grow faster and bloom more. Whenever I add nutrient-infused potting soil or spray a growth-focused treatment in my garden, it’s amazing to see how it impacts the multitude of blooms, their vividness, and their longevity.
Likewise, prayer, community and God’s Word nourish us and provide nutritional boosts to feed our souls and make us stronger. Through our communication, foremost with God, along with others who choose to walk in His Way. we can protect against soul disease and boost our spiritual growth.
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:14–15 NIV
You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. Psalm 68:9 NIV
Flowers that were dormant for months, and trees whose branches have been barren, burst into splashes of color heralding the promise of rebirth. For even in the coldest of days when warmth seemed elusive and distant, their root systems remained intact.
Our spiritual walk starts with our connection to Christ, but we have to stay attached in order to experience new growth. When our hearts are rooted and continually refreshed by God’s Word and communication with Him, we can be confident of spiritual growth.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15: 5-8 NIV
- What flower, or blooming plant or tree is your favorite? Why?
- What are you most looking forward to in life this spring?
- In what ways is your life blooming spiritually right now?
- When were you last in a season of spiritual, mental or emotional (or all!) dormancy? How has that affected your growth?
- Is there anything you’d like to remove in your life to allow for healthier spiritual growth?
- How is the life-changing grace God offers through Jesus affecting your life?
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 NIV
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™