Yesterday, the unseasonably mild weather beckoned me out to walk through what (barring the warmth) looked like the dead of winter. Brown was the dominant color. The trees and other vegetation looked like ghosts of themselves.
And yet—I was surprised to find these small yellow flowers that had popped up in the thaw that so suddenly followed Friday’s snowfall.
Their small presence was a hopeful sign—a remembrance that spring will come. Not yet (says Weather.com), but I’m reminded that it’s waiting to burst forth. That someday soon a green mist of new leaves will spread through the creaking, seemingly dead branches, and that the brown leaves will be covered over by fresh, brightly colored growth.
Those small flowers are a hint of a greater Hope. A Hope that emerged in the first century AD, after the darkest of Saturdays. A Hope whose light continues to stream forth into the darkness of our present times. In my devotional reading today, I came across this quote from Dr. Carl F. Henry, speaking of Jesus:
“He planted the only durable rumor of hope amid the widespread despair of a hopeless world.”
This rumor of hope is dimly reflected in the hope for spring to come, but it is so much greater and brighter. It is the Hope that all is not lost. That Jesus has defeated the death that dogs our days. That in Him, we can find a life that is full, bursting at the seams—a life that overwhelms the persistent presence of death, and that ultimately will end death and bring all to a rightful order.
As beautiful as spring can be after a northern winter, it can’t begin to compare with the renewal and redemption that those who have found hope in Jesus look to. And so, just as I have hope for a green spring in the midst of a dead, brown winter, in the dead of a hopeless world, my hope for the ultimate Spring lives on.