April has such a round tone to it. Sweet and crisp, it describes Spring simply in its name. I love to think of the earth as being old, shriveled up, cold, and dying in the month of February. And the only reason I love that morbid thought, is because come March or April, a miracle occurs in the natural world. I go to bed one night, and I hear the wind moaning outside, making the loose glass panes of my window rattle a little hauntingly. I crawl into my bed, and shiver as I listen to the wind. Outside, I can see the stark branches of the trees black against a dark blue night-sky. My last thought is how I wish Spring would come.
The next morning, I can see buds on the trees that weren’t there before. How is it that they could have gotten there overnight? How did they do it? Over the next few weeks, the buds swell, and eventually burst in a vibrant array of green. This is not the only change. Stubborn shoots are pushing through the cold hard ground, growing, ever climbing to meet the sun. The delicate snowdrop, followed by the crocus. How is it that so much beauty has burst forth from a cold and dead world?
Of course there are the cycles of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. But even these cycles are miracles. God somehow wraps this world up in a garment of warmth and beauty. He does much the same with us. There was a time when, in mind and thought, body and spirit, I was the same as the dead, cold world. And yet, it was not final. It was not forever. My case was not without hope. Even as the earth experiences Spring after Winter, so I experienced life after death (in a spiritual sense.)
Ephesians 2 speaks so beautiful of this transition. “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” (verses 1-5)
That passage is so rich… The language is so dismaying in the first few verses – when it talks about us living in the passions of our flesh. But then God… he made us alive in Christ! In Romans 6 there is the beautiful phrase – “Dead to sin, alive to God in Christ Jesus.” How beautiful! Somehow, God has made this glorious transition in us through Christ Jesus. I was dead. But I am alive. That word rings. You can almost sense that it is alive itself… Alive to God. And this is what Spring makes me think of every year. Even as the earth is dead and comes alive, so I was dead, and was made alive through Christ Jesus. What a beautiful thought!
And why is this post labeled “Daffodils”? Well… Daffodils form a huge part of Spring. And we just read this poem by William Wordsworth the other day, that made me so joyous. Here it is.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.