SPRING BRINGS HOPE - BY THORA HAEFLIGER
Women of Reverence welcomes Thora as a guest blogger.
Thora is married to Craig and they serve on the eldership team at Church on the Way in Modderfontein, Johannesburg.
After spending more than 18 years in Corporate Business, she felt led by God to come alongside her husband in their family business in 2010. For the last 10 years they've been able to serve the Body of Christ together, work together and travel together.
Thora’s joy includes being a wife, mother and granny. She loves teaching and equipping women, especially enjoying the diversity that exists in God's girls. She is an avid crafter and DIY'er, using her creativity to upcycle, paints and decorates.
Towards the middle of August, I popped into our local garden center. I was quickly surrounded by smiling staff, who were willing to offer their assistance. The grounds were filled with sparkly-eyed garden enthusiasts, a few laughing and screeching children and the odd granny joining the family for an ‘outing’.
Aisles were packed with colorful trays of seedlings. Large palm-like plants, with shiny waving leaves, were beckoning me to take them home.
As some of you may know, Johannesburg is not known for its lush gardens and green lawns during winter. Rather, in Gauteng most of our lawns turn into a dry, mustard colored carpet. The few evergreen plants which remain, seem to turn their black leaves accusingly towards me, after the July frost got hold of them and I neglected to cover them from the elements.
Spending time at the garden center filled me with a great deal of anticipation, as all of a sudden, the change of season was unmistakably in the air.
I know businesses such as this one are suffering during the phased lockdown period in South Africa. As I was paying for my purchase, I asked the owner if business had picked up. His answer was a resounding ‘Yes! Thank goodness.’ Then he added how good the coming and going of clients have been for his and the staff’s morale. It was a relief and comfort for them to have customers leaving with excitement and expectancy to see how their new purchases will grow - and hopefully flourish.
As I was loading my purchase in the boot of my car, I realized that a change of season brings hope.
SEASONS ARE ORDAINED BY GOD
The year 2020 has resulted in all of us experiencing change, discomfort and in some cases even trauma. With the many uncertainties we are facing, one thing remains certain – God is in control and He ordains the seasons.
Genesis 8:22 reminds us While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.
Today we can rejoice in this assurance: while this earth exists, seasons will change, just as God ordained it.
We are entering a new season – SPRING – and in my spirit I have a sense what God does in the natural tells the story of what He is doing in the spiritual.
AS IN THE NATURAL SO IN THE SPIRITUAL
A few things happen in the natural during the spring months, such as the chirping of the birds waking me before my alarm clock does. The warmer temperatures mean I spend more time outside, and the indoor couch hibernation comes to an end. As the days get longer and sunnier, it comes with a major mood boost. Spring brings back green growth to plants and trees. Suddenly potted plants need replanting; scrubs and bushes need pruning and the soil needs fertilizing and tilling. All this in preparation of what is to come.
The earth literally goes through an awakening, and today I want to encourage you to be expectant and hopeful for an awakening in your own spirit too.
As September invites Spring into the Southern Hemisphere, let us ask the Spirit of the LORD to rain on us in this season. (Zechariah 10:1)
THIS IS THE SEASON
Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:…
Everything has its purpose at a given time.
Take comfort in Spring this year and identify its purpose in your life.
Celebrate the new season and make good use of it. Yield to Father God, who is powerful, wise and gracious - He has ordained this season. Rest in His goodness during this Spring. Look for the change in the air, the new growth, the fruitfulness, and the hope. Take hold of all that God is offering.
We can be assured that He goes before us, He makes a way and He will send the rain in this season, in this Spring, to awaken us, to mobilize us, to revive us, to bring about growth and an abundance of fruit.
Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring. (Hosea 6:3 NLT)
I invite you to pray with me today:
Lord God, come and awaken me. As the season changes in the natural, may I change in my spirit too. Increase my sensitivity, my discernment, and my obedience to walk as you direct. Strengthen me to be steadfast in my faith and watchful in the times I am living in. (1 Thess 5:6)
Even in this time of restriction and lockdown God, may I cease my hibernation and shine Jesus in my areas of influence. Guide me Lord in my connection with people, in my encouragement of others, in my testimony of who You are in me, and in my sharing of the Good News that Jesus saves. (Matt 5:15-16)
In this season I ask Lord for revival – revive my dreams and my hope. I am expectant of growth, multiplication, and expansion in my life. By Your Spirit Lord, remove and cut off that which is no longer fruitful so that new growth can come. Strengthen what remains. I want to make room in my life for all you have for me. (Ps 119:25, 50,149)
Lord, I trust you for growth in this new season. Let my roots grow deep into You. May the supernatural growth produce much fruit, to bring glory to Your Name. Even in this season may I let go of the old, so that the new may come and flourish. (Colossians 2:7)
I am expectant Lord. Come to me in the spring rains and water my soul. Renew my hope, Lord Jesus.