Awakening From a Spiritual Winter

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Spring. A time of daffodils, crocus and tulips. Vibrant with color and bursting with life.


But, I’ve discovered that bulbs aren’t the only things that bloom in spring.


Weeds are also popping their unwelcome sprouts out of the ground.


At first, it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. Both are a tiny, green blade. But give it some time and even the most inexperienced gardner can tell the difference. A bulb intends joy. A weed intends domination.


I’ve been thinking about the similarities within me. When I finally begin recovery from a spiritual winter, any signs of life are welcomed: a new friendship, an unread book, a fresh opportunity.


Yet, through the ebb and flows of spiritual winters, I’ve discovered that they too offer two kinds of life: the life of the bulb and the life of the weed. Not every sign of life is to be encouraged. Even the experienced gardner needs a few days of observation before knowing which plant is desired and which is not.


Be a wise gardner in this season of spiritual spring. Don’t jump at every opportunity to fill up your schedule. Begin the practice of discerning between that which is good and that which will be evil for you (Hebrews 5:14). Watering the wrong opportunity too early may result in an invasive species that will be hard to uproot later.


We desire to bear fruit of beauty, kindness, and gentleness. Our heart yearns for times of refreshing. Yet, hasty decisions after a long, spiritual winter may actually be counter-productive. Instead of the warm friendships and fulfilling ministry you may find yourself be reproducing discontent, bitterness and exhaustion. Remember, just because it’s green now, doesn’t mean you will want it in your garden in a few months. Give it some time. Let the sprout become obvious.


After all, “he who believes will not be in a hurry” (Isaiah 28:16).