10 Years in Print: Special Edition
Winter Is Past
By Norma Jackson Goldman
Likely, you are rejoicing that winter is past,
and that spring has made a welcome appearance. We’ve just come through an unusually cold winter—the kind that makes us want to turn up the heat, eat lots of soup, and hope for the warming trend that heralds the coming of spring.
What is it about spring that renews our hope, increases our optimism and pushes us into a flurry of activity? Our first thoughts are to make a list—what must be done to prepare? Bed clearing, seed planting, and shrub trimming ensure a beautiful growing season, whether your yard is large or small. The Creator planned each season to present joys and challenges that draw us nearer to Him, and the rebirth of plants, flowers, and animal life cause us to reflect within our spirits about His call on our lives.
If you were to make a similar list, preparing for this current season of your life, what would it look like? Do you need to plant seeds in the hearts of unsaved friends and loved ones? Is the “bed” of your own heart clear and ready to bloom with the fragrance of God? Is there pruning to be done? Spring is the perfect time to make sure we are free from the “debris” of the past year: disappointment, failed ventures, a bad health experience, a challenging move, or a financial setback. Of course, this is the work of God’s Spirit, but you have the daily opportunity to choose to work with God in His plans for this present season. In so doing, you point people to Him.
I just experienced the loss of my sister. Hers was not an easy life; she faced what most consider daunting obstacles. But at her memorial service, she was characterized as an overcomer, a person of joy and laughter, and the one most likely to light up any room she entered. Because of her personal challenges, her children did not have an easy start, yet each one spoke with hope and optimism that would make you believe they had a privileged upbringing. I came away comforted, renewed in my faith in God’s provision and care, and thankful for opportunities to plant seeds in my own family.
No matter what “season” you are in—mid-life or golden years—it is still spring, still a time for planting seeds. Since none of us knows how long we have, it’s best to plant them now. This is your time to speak the truth of the gospel, your time to plant seeds of encouragement, guidance, and wisdom in the hearts of those God places in your path. The harvest depends on what you plant!
Heart Free of Debris
Even before seed planting, every heart needs to be clear of debris, the “leftovers” from any past experiences that threaten to hold us back or prevent the growth that God intends. Make a conscious choice to put the past behind and to concentrate on the good things ahead, the work of God’s kingdom in and through you.
A Carefully Pruned Spirit
What hinders your growth?
Pruning unhealthy thoughts and habits makes room for spiritual growth! Perhaps there’s a neglected relationship that needs to be restored, a fresh approach to your daily time with God, or even a renewed focus on family priorities. Living intentionally in every area of life is the mark of a growing, maturing believer.
An Expectant Heart
Just as we look forward to the first evidence of spring, we anticipate with expectant hearts the fruit God will produce in us and through us during this present growing season. Will this be your best harvest ever?
About the Writer: Former magazine editor Norma J. Goldman enjoys a successful freelance career in her retirement. The award-winning writer lives near Houston, Texas. Learn more about retirement options at www.boardofretirement.com.