I just love this time of year. Dormant things are coming back to life! What once was asleep is returning to its glory.
Have you ever thought about what makes spring so new and beautiful?
Back in the fall of 2016 my daughters and I planted tulips and other bulbs in our front yard, in the hopes that by some miracle we would see the green sprouts, then the colorful blooms. We put in almost a full day’s labor in the fall just to be able to enjoy the newness of spring and put winter behind us.
Winter is not my favorite time of year! But, without it, there would be no spring.
What makes spring so beautiful for me is that I get to go for walks without the freezing effect of winter. The sun is higher in the sky, so the sunrise is even more vivid; full of pinks, purples and whites, if the clouds are just right. The days are warmer, but the nights are still cool, in anticipation of the soon to arrive summer heat. All in all, it’s a time of year in which many people, especially I, look forward to.
Spring in New Jersey is similar to spring in Colorado in that to grow luscious and healthy plants you need good, rich soil. The soil has to be full of nutrients to feed the plant that has sprouted from the seed that was just planted or the dormant plant is returning to life. Of course you also need a healthy amount of water and many sunny days.
On my regular winter morning walks in New Jersey I saw a particular pile of compost along the side of the person’s home in my neighborhood that started as dead leaves, mixed with other debris and natural materials. I saw it day after day, just sitting there doing nothing but decomposing. It was started in the fall, using fallen leaves. But in the spring the pile was not just fallen leaves, it was mixed with water from the winter snow and early spring rains, and debris from the surrounding neighborhood. In the spring I walked by the same pile and sometimes I would see steam coming off of it, until the pile eventually looked ready to be used as compost for spring gardening. I imagined it was going to be the beginning of some of their best soil to use for growing a garden.
Watching the process of my neighbor’s compost pile reminded me of how God can use our fallen and troubling times to build a better relationship with us, and to help others see hope during difficult seasons of life. If we give our troubles and worries to God, He can compost them and add it to the soil of our hearts, so He may plant seeds to grow a great spiritual harvest.
The once dark times in a person’s life can be the very fuel that builds in them the strength and desire to move into a more fulfilling, rooted and anchored chapter in their lives. It can lead them to walk to a “springboard” by which to take the leap of faith that God has wanted them to jump off of, so He could catch them!
Living in New Jersey for about 16 months was the place God led me to move further on the springboard that I had been climbing on and off of without jumping.
As recently as the spring of 2015 I took a significant leap by setting up a website to encourage women, especially moms (www.socorrogill.com). Even before that I was led to create a website to minister to my relatives, along with a newsletter, laying out the Gospel (I let it go and lost it). It was during the time between the creations of the two websites that I was going through a time of producing my “compost”. That in turn has been fueling me for what I did in 2015 and very soon to enable my family and I to grow our ministry to families in the Church and outside of it.
God has been allowing me to see what my “compost” was since I gave my life to Him. But, I couldn’t do anything with it on my own. I needed and will always need Him to give me good seeds to plant in the mixed soil of my heart. I will always need His spirit to breathe life into my messes and stir things up, so they may move me into the place He wants me. By the same power, His Spirit, like a spring rain, waters my soul to allow for the sprouting of the seed, which is the Living Word of God, to produce good fruit for others to take and see that the Lord is good. If I give my troubles to Him, He will always make good compost for the soil, and the seeds He plants will bear fruit and accomplish what He wants in my life.
“As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11
As soon as the new ministry website is ready for the non-profit organization that God has allowed my husband and me to create, I will post the link. Our hope and challenge to everyone reading this is that it will encourage you to give your “compost” to God. If you’re willing to die to yourself, as a seed has to do in order to be born again, you too can see what beautiful blooms God will produce in and through you for His Kingdom.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7
Seeking the Lord,