I was at a retreat center recently on a cold, windy drizzly day. I had a raincoat, boots and a sweater but even with all that, I still didn’t want to wander outside too much. The dark colors, broken limbs, dead leaves, gray sky and harsh wind all reminded me of the seeming death in winter.
Yet, in reality, things are just sleeping in the winter and spring will come. Green will emerge, grass will grow, the sun will warm your skin.
Life can be like this picture of winter and spring. Things that seem dead can come back to life, usually slowly. God has given us both a harsh and a warm picture of winter and spring to show us that life can come after death. This poem expresses that hope when all else seems lost….to see a little green shoot emerge from a dark cold winter.
A Shoot Sprang Forth
Surprise to me this little shoot of green that came my way
While all was brown and dark outside, a newness came to stay
The sadder part lay dying there, old dreams began to fade
Yet in the middle of it all, the shoot stood up to say:
“Have hope, have cheer, a page has turned there’s more of life to come
Life in Me and those about, with you I’m never done.”
Hope ahead yet barely seen, it feels within my reach
Moving to surrender now for what you have to teach.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:1-3