When Your Life is Stuck in Winter

DaffadilsOnce upon a time there was a season called springtime…

“And now the snow was really melting in earnest and patches of green grass were beginning to appear in every direction. Unless you have looked at the world of snow as long as Edmund had been looking at it, you will hardly be able to imagine what a relief those green patches were after the endless white. Then the sledge stopped again.

“It’s no good, your Majesty,” said the dwarf. “We can’t sledge in this thaw.”

“Then we must walk,” said the Witch.

[…] Every moment the patches of green grew bigger and the patches of snow grew smaller. Every moment more and more of the trees shook off their robes of snow. Soon, wherever you looked, instead of white shapes you saw the dark green of firs or the black prickly branches of bare oaks and birches and elms. Then the mist turned from white to gold and presently cleared away altogether. Shafts of delicious sunlight struck down onto the forest floor and overhead you could see a blue sky between the treetops.

Soon there were more wonderful things happening. Coming suddenly round a corner into a glade of silver birch trees Edmund saw the ground covered in all directions with little yellow flowers– celandines.

The noise of the water grew louder. Presently they actually crossed a stream. Beyond it they found snowdrops growing.

“Mind your own business!” said the dwarf when he saw that Edmund had turned his head to look at them; and he gave the rope a vicious jerk.

But of course this didn’t prevent Edmund from seeing. Only five minutes later he noticed a dozen crocuses growing round the foot of an old tree—gold and purple and white. Then came a sound even more delicious than the sound of water. Close beside the path they were following a bird suddenly chirped from the branch of a tree. It was answered by the chuckle of another bird a little further off. And then, as if that had been signal, there was chattering and chirruping in every direction, and then a moment of full song, and within five minutes the whole wood was ringing with birds’ music, and wherever Edmund’s eyes turned he saw birds alighting on branches, or sailing overhead or chasing one another or having their little quarrels or tidying up their feathers with their beaks.

“Faster! Faster!” said the Witch.

There was no trace of the fog now. The sky became bluer and bluer, and now there were white clouds hurrying across it from time to time. In the wide glades there were primroses. A light breeze sprang up which scattered drops of moisture from the swaying branches and carried cool, delicious scents against the faces of the travelers. The trees began to come fully alive. The larches and birches were covered with green, the laburnums with gold. Soon the beech trees had put forth their delicate, transparent leaves. As the travelers walked under them the light also became green. A bee buzzed across their path.

“This is no thaw,” said the dwarf, suddenly stopping. “This is Spring. What are we to do? Your winter has been destroyed, I tell you! This is Aslan’s doing.”

“If either of you mentions that name again,” said the Witch, “he shall instantly be killed.”” (From The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis)

Green LeavesThis is Spring! When I read this passage I can’t help but feel the warmth of spring stirring my soul. But there’s more. As winter fades a little more each day, here in Michigan, these words bring hope. Not just for the coming spring, but for the Savior who is coming for me.

Life can be as harsh and biting as any winter wind, and there are times when we all feel as though we are living in an endless season of bitter truth. We long for the spell to be broken. We long for the warmth of spring.

This is Spring! No matter what feels and looks like winter in your world, take heart. Spring is coming! Our Savior, He came and died on the cross, He comes for us each day, and someday He will come breaking once and for all the spell. He will come with the breath of heaven and the relief of springtime.

Chris in TulipsBreathe deep. Take it all in. The truth that winter is temporary. The spell will be broken and spring will reign eternal.

Brave Prince, lovely Princess may you wake up this day to the fairy tale found in the first days of spring. In blue skies, warm breezes, and delicate blades of green that radiate truth and hope. May you know that this is spring!

Spring that melts the cold of winter and declares the delicious truth of a Savior who breaks every spell.

Of a Savior who makes all things new.

~ A Message from the Archives

Today Was a Fairy Tale

UPS

Photo by Landon Brown

Once upon a time there was a UPS commercial…

While watching college basketball during the NCAA tournament a certain commercial caught my attention. It was an ad for UPS and throughout the sixty second spot the voice-overs gave a list of all the things UPS was inviting their potential customers to bring to them. 

“Bring us your bafflings

Bring us your audacious

We want your daydreams

Your ‘ahas’

Your ‘easier said than dones’

We want your sticky notes

Sketchbooks

And scribbles

…Bring us your ‘need it done yesterdays’

Your impracticals

Your ‘how do we do that’

Impossibles

Your ‘what do we do nows’

Your down right inaccessibles

Bring us those things you’re not sure how to pull off

And you’re even less sure whom to ask

…Because we’re in the problem solving business”

While watching this ad it occurred to me that this list is right in keeping with the invitation God gives us each and everyday…this and so much more.

At the end of the commercial UPS declared themselves the “United Problem Solvers.” And this, too, made me think of God in new and different way. Instead of United Problem Solvers, God is our Ultimate Problem Solver and Easter is a reminder that none of our problems are greater than Him.

In addition to the big and little problems of our daily lives God has solved the unsolvable problems of sin and death. What else could be beyond Him?

The answer is, nothing. 

I replay the commercial in my mind, this time picturing the cross, this time hearing His voice over all that troubles my heart. 

“Bring Me your wounds

Bring Me your regrets

I want your fears

Your losses

Your ‘I can’t do this anymores’

I want your hopes

Passions

And desires

Bring Me your ‘I need helps’

Your worries

Your ‘I feel so alones’

Hows

Your ‘I don’t understand whys’

Your down right impossibles

Bring me those things that keep you up at night, that break your heart, that scare you to death.

Because I’m in the good news business. The bind up the brokenhearted business. The set the captives free business.

With Good Friday He solved the problem of sin. With Easter He solved the problem of death. With three words He solved the problem of the human condition as He clung and bled and died. As He poured out the solution of perfect love He spoke the answer: ‘It is finished.’

It is finished. All our problems are finished in Him. Today. Everyday. Forever.

And I see it again and again. Those three yellow letters. The UPS logo on TV, in the mail, on the truck. The reminder of fairy tale love and the answer to all my problems.

Cinderella had her Fairy Godmother. Frodo had Gandalf. The children of Narnia had the great lion, Aslan.

And we have the Great I AM.

Brave Prince, lovely Princess may you wake up this day, this Easter sunrise, to the fairy tale found in UPS, in the Ultimate Problem Solver, Jesus. May you take your problems big and small, bring them to the cross, and leave the business of problem solving with no one and nothing but Him.