Our apartment was unusually quiet for a miraculous thirty seconds. I was in the living room, basking in the glorious silence when my puppy started scratching against the bedroom door, whimpering. When I’m home, she doesn’t like to be apart from me, even for one minute. Didn’t she know I’d left the door open for her?
Forcing myself to my feet, I trudged down the hallway to see what the problem was. Somehow, the once wide-open door had closed to a crack. If my puppy had been resourceful enough, she could have used her nose or paw to nudge her way through. Instead, she sat there, helpless—staring me down with those puppy-dog eyes as though I’d abandoned her.
Sometimes, we live under the notion that we’re stranded—stuck behind a door that’s slammed in our face, when all along that door would open with the slightest nudge. In fact, it’s already open—we just don’t see it. We may feel abandoned by God, but truly he’s made a way for us to be close to him. It says so in his word: “he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him” (2 Samuel 14:14).
When God sent his son Jesus to die for us, he made a way for us to be reconciled to him. If we feel far from him, it’s not because he hasn’t made a way for us—it’s because we haven’t walked through the door he opened for us. Ravi Zacharias put it most eloquently, “I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put him.” God is only as far as we’ve run from him.
If you feel far from God, ask him to open your eyes to see the open door he has set before you. Pray for strength to stop running far in the wrong direction—to turn from where you are and to return to the God who knows you, loves you, and has the power to set you free.
Spring came as a welcome gift this year. Though it’s always been a miraculous season, something was different when it finally broke through this time around. Maybe the harsh winter had stamped out any assurance that warmth would prevail and new life spring forth as promised—the relentless snow and lingering cold freezing out all hope. Or maybe it was something more.
While it’s unreasonable to question if spring will come, there is always the matter of when…and how long we’ll have to endure before it does come. When the cultural climate is stuck on winter, it seems all the more miraculous that spring manages to show up in the midst. How—in the soil of persistent war, conflict, violence, and suffering, do the trees still grow and the flowers still bloom?
The season of life may be overshadowed by the death that is winter, but it is never overcome. In fact, death is what prepares the soil for life. If there were no winter, spring would never come in its fullness of glory. And God has given a promise that if we press on to know him in the midst of our suffering, he will come to us like the spring rains that water the earth.
All that surrounds may steal our hope and drain our life. The constant bad news breeds depression, doubt, and sheer exhaustion. But the good news is…the flowers still bloom. Spring still comes. It can’t be hindered. New life will always prevail over death. It’s the law of spring.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and he will come to us like the rain—the spring rain that waters the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)
There are times in life when circumstances descend like a cloud, obscuring our vision. We’re exhausted from striving, surrounded by sharks seeking to pull us down. The cold penetrates our hearts, paralyzes our hope. If we could just see how close we are to reaching our goal, we wouldn’t be so tempted to give up.
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