Monday, April 07, 2014

Spring Green

Two summers ago we put a pool in our backyard. It was a fantastic decision for us since we live in such a hot, muggy climate. The aftermath of pool installation is that you have a muddy mess of a yard. Factoring the cost of landscaping into the whole project is a must.

I was especially excited about a the arrival of a willow tree that was going to be in the corner of our yard. The day it came I remembered the willow tree in the yard of a rental house we lived in when I was four. There was something magical about it.  I thought our kids would love it.

We were told to expect the tree, in a bit of shock, to shed all its leaves at first but that they would come back. Sure enough, that beautiful young tree lost all its leaves. We waited for months for it to sprout new leaves. Fall came, winter came, spring came, but there were no signs of life.

A few months ago the landscapers returned with a new willow tree for us. It lost its leaves, which this time coincided with fall and winter. We had a couple hard freezes this year and I am really sad to say that every plant in our backyard is dead. The grass is emerald green again and all the trees behind our fence boast their new coverage. But every plant in our yard is a bundle of brown sticks. All but one, that is.

The willow tree lives.

How we cheered when the first burst of green we could see from our living room window was our humble willow.

My spirit is also green again.

It was a terribly harsh winter. The coldest I've ever felt. I thought I might never come back to life. There were times I wasn't sure I wanted to.

In late January a humble, trustworthy friend approached me in tears with a word from the Lord. The despair I was experiencing was not just grief. The enemy had come in my weakest moment and set a scheme in motion to finish me off. When she said these words I knew she was right: isolation, inconsolable hopelessness, and defiance. Hopelessness laying on me like a heavy blanket. This should have been hard for me to hear but it was the first hopeful thing I had heard in months. I knew the enemy did not have authority to oppress me like this for the rest of my days. Freedom was coming.

Later that day my husband and I went to war together. He poured oil on my hands and prayed for my deliverance. Then I prayed for myself and I renounced all the sinful things I had uttered with my lips in my despair.

The darkness lifted from me that day. For two weeks I felt like I was flying. It was like getting an epidural after three months of labor. The joy of my salvation was restored. I had never been instantly delivered from anything and I'm not sure I really believed people when they said it happened to them.  But in a moment, that terrible darkness that sought my end was defeated. Thank You, Jesus. He is truly my Savior and I love Him so much.

Right now the leaves on the trees outside are that beautiful, spring green color. It's almost lime green. If a color can sing, this one does. It sings about life and hope and renewal. As summer approaches the leaves will mature and the green will darken. We will give thanks for the shade they give us. And when the August heat scorches the land, the green will have to fight to stay that way. The gardeners will make sure the plants get the water they need when the sky withholds rain.

My spring green lasted those two lovely weeks. They were sweet and safe and full of song. I was like a bride on her honeymoon. And now my soul is summer green. The heat of life on earth surrounds me, but I am alive and bearing fruit.