My kids have spring fever.
I kid you not. Everyday they beg to go outside. But despite the bright sun and appearance of spring in the air, the ground is soft and very muddy.
Now, I am not one of those moms who doesn’t let their kids get dirty, but we live in the country and the renovations we are doing on our home have not yet included our yard. The grass is quite patchy, and when I say mud, I mean….mud.
As one who can find a Biblical illustration in just about anything, the state of my yard didn’t let me down in this regard. As I debated whether or not I was ready and willing to let my kids explore iced-over piles of snow and muddy spots (which I am quite certain would have been a favorite with my youngest), I was reminded of the picture my dad painted several years ago.
I don’t know about you, but I am coming out of a time in my Christian walk that has been somewhat frigid.
I have felt like my devotions have been forced and routine. I get up, I pray, I read, I share my thoughts with the ladies in my Bible study group. I go about my day….nothing particularly spectacular. And tomorrow I do it all over again.
There was a time in my Christian life when I’d call that “religiosity”. I mistakenly believed that following through with routine Christian disciplines while lacking the desire to do them, was religious.
It is not our feeling about them that makes them religious as much as our motive. When our motive is to earn God’s favor, or when we fulfill a set of rules while in our heart we lack a desire for God’s presence and relationship – that is religiosity.
This wasn’t the case with me.
No, I longed for a deeper relationship with the Lord. I greatly missed those times when I would open the Word and with anticipation and excitement see something totally new.
It just hadn’t happened in quite a while.
Winter. Death. Frozen land.
And yet, this frozen death is only surface deep.
I know this because my mother-in-law actually plants a garden in the fall. I remember the first time she brought me lettuce and swiss chard starters. I was completely confused! I argued that it would snow soon, and who knows how long the snow would be on the ground.
I thought it was utterly useless to plant anything in that ground because at the first freeze, everything would die.
But she knew something I didn’t. The snow would insulate the tender leaves, the roots would continue to gather sustenance and come spring, when the snow melted, I would find hearty plants ready to soak up the sun until they were full grown and ready to eat.
My dad illustrated this as “snowbanks”.
The child of God who is facing a cold spell in their heart need not fear that they have “backslidden” or lost their first love. Seasons are normal for all of nature – even the spiritual nature.
In these times it is imperative that we keep reading, keep praying, keep meditating on the Word – because these routine actions are far from religious. Oh no! They are building up a snow bank.
You may feel like the rote prayers and reading isn’t accomplishing anything at all, but in reality it is accomplishing far more than you realize. With every devotion, you are building your spiritual snowbank.
And one day, the sun will shine again.
When it does, that snowbank will turn into a trickle, then a stream and soon it will be rivers of living water that will give life to your spirit! It will not only refresh you – but all those around you.
Dear sister, your faithfulness to the Lord in devotion is never in vain.
Have you been in a spiritual winter?
Winter never lasts forever. Spring will be here soon.
Be faithful. Build your snowbank.
Because your faithfulness will be rewarded with rivers of living water!