A picture of the winter landscape looms in my mind – the dead barren land stretches out for miles. Grass that was once supple, crumples over, withered and devoid of nutrients. Farm fields lay dormant with row after row of the remanants of their last crop standing as harshly cut stubble sticking up from the frozen ground. The trees stretch out their their naked, twisted branches with nothing to shield them from the bitter cold winter snow and winds. Long ago abandoned bird nests rest along branches, tucked up against the trunk of the tree. Touches of snow, once white, whipped here and there from a strong winter wind, the result of a previous winter storm, serve as the color contrast against the seemingly lifeless landscape. One must bundle up in multiple layers of heavy warm clothes to survive to venture outside. Winter seems long and desolate, it stretches out over months, and for some of us, it causes us to want to hibernate.
But, ultimately winter must give over to spring, and the earth revives from it’s sojourn of the long cold winter. Ever so slowly the earth wakes up from it’s long sleep. Sights of green are spotted as patches start to emerge from the once frozen ground. Birds begin to make their way back from their winter in warmer, less hostile climate conditions. The first signs of buds on the trees begin to take shape, promising a glorious covering of lush green leaves. Early perennials poke up from the ground revealing the colorful blooms of daffodils, tulips, primrose, and the like. Children play gleefully without the restrictions of heavy winter clothing. Lawnmowers emerge from their storage place and the scent of fresh cut grass lingers sweetly in the air. The earth seems fresh, new. And, people’s spirits are buoyed. Life. Life has returned.
Soon we will be used to the those lush sights, the trees overflowing with leaves that rustle in the gentle breeze. The sweet smell of the spring air as it flows through open windows. The vivid colors from the flowers that adorn our landscape. We’ll forget how fresh and revived it made us feel when it first appeared. And, we will go on with our lives, seldom giving our beautiful warm landscape another thought.
Life, like seasons, seems to go in cycles. We experience times of winter, those wilderness experiences where everything seems cold and barren. We learn things in our winter, things that shape and define us. Things that can shape us into better people. But, we too will emerge from those times, with a greater appreciation for the spring, summer, and autumn times of our lives. I like to think of this as revival – to restore to life or consciousness; to renew. (Dictionary.com)
But, revival doesn’t have to happen only after a long wintertime in the wilderness. We can revive ourselves everyday in our relationship with God. I have talked before about two things that I earnestly pray every day. These are not rote prayers, but the honest plea from me to God to help me be the best me that I can be moment-by-moment, to better reflect Him. My pleas are not entered into lightly, but sincerely. And, God is reaching out to me in response. He knows my heart, flawed as I am, and He’s bending His ear to me. He gently renews and restores me time after time, after time.
You too can have a daily revival with God. Find those things upon which you want in your relationship with your Lord and Savior. Talk to Him about it, not just once, but over and over and over again. Make those things the desire of your heart. God will be pleased, and He will listen.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
I am blessed.
What are your prayers? What is the desire of your heart?