Then I remembered that little ditty most of us learned when we were kids: “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” Not true this year. It’s more like “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lion.”
Come to think about it, it is almost always like that in the spring around here.
One thing I have learned about living along the Lake Michigan shoreline is that spring comes a bit later here than places farther inland. I have learned to ignore the enthusiastic weather forecasters when they tell about how warm it is going to be in Grand Rapids, because it is usually about 10 degrees cooler by the Lake.
But, as someone has said, “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to come.” And come it does, but ever so slowly.
I came across an interesting quote from Charles Dickens that pretty much summarizes how spring has felt for me so far this spring: “Spring is the time of year,” he says, “when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.” Sound familiar?
Most of the snow has melted in our yard — finally. But I always find it amusing seeing the huge piles of dirty snow that have been plowed in the big parking lots around town. Those enormous mounds of soiled snow can be with us often until the end of April. I am so glad when they finally melt away. Then it is time for God to show forth his handiwork. Indeed, as Virgil Kraft has said, “Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”
The psalm writer had it right when he penned the words: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)
We who live in this “instant age” when we expect things to happen immediately don’t especially like waiting for spring. We wish it would come quicker. But I am also reminded of another Bible verse which is appropriate here: Ecclesiastes 3:1. It says, “He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time.” That verse reminds me that sometimes I have to wait patiently, and in God’s time, He will reveal Himself or His plan.
Rest assured, spring will come! And when it does, it will come with great beauty. A well-known hymn reminds us of this when we sing, “For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies. Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.”
As I write, I am struck by the fact that our waiting for spring to come can produce some awesome heavenward thoughts in us. The way that that hymn I referenced ends is the way we should view not only the beauty of spring but all of creation. Creation is sacred — made by God and worthy of praise and thanksgiving. Of course, that includes taking great care of creation, too.
May we not only enjoy the beauty of the earth, but show our gratitude for it and do all we can to be good stewards of all its resources.
About the writer: The Rev. John Koedyker is pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven.