There are two seasons in the woods: the brown season (fall to winter) and the green season (spring to summer). This year, it seemed like the green season was holding back as winter wore on. Weeks in April and May brought more rain than sunshine. I found myself grateful for these cooler temperatures to work the gardens.
There is a little bench nestled in the pachysandra. Around it stands tall pines and flowering rhododendrons. I haven’t paid much attention to the area since the start of the school year, and with only final grades left to do, my attention focuses on an outside to-do … weeding, clearing, mulching, pruning, planting. I walked by the bench on the way to a shed and noticed a long, wayward vine weaving a way, reaching high and entangling itself on anything in its path. This vine was covered in barely perceptible thorny barbs, and me, without a glove, reached out carefully to pinch a place and pull it off. Its hold was firm and stubborn. I would need thick gloves and, likely, a pole saw.
There’s a lot of work to do in the green season, a growing season.
Second Samuel and First Chronicles tell two versions of a same tale–a spring season for war, and a king who stays home. One rendition focuses on relationships–David, Bathsheba, Uriah, Nathan. The other story, more historical–of conquer and victory. One looks at the heart, the other at the landscape. I see how sin weaves its way into many lives at once, a coil and snare that trips a king. Much like a thorny vine that camoflouges itself among the greenery, with a tenacious hold on anything in its way.
I read of David mourning in the psalms, of sin that separates, and I read of his rejoicing, connection in repentance and forgiveness. Joy restored in right relationship with the Lord.
Our family is entering a new season of sorts. These words in Psalm 32 speak to me:
For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.
8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure! Psalm 32:7-11, NLT
Recently, I sat across the table from my husband and reflected on the end of the school season. It was an emotional time as I step out in faith into a new way, and I’m not sure how it’s supposed to look. If I’m not careful to guard my heart, it’s easy to feel the grip of insecurity and failure before I’ve even begun.
Lord, you brought me this far. You are my hiding place and you protect me from trouble. Help me to keep my focus on you, Lord, and not on all the distractions that want to pull me down like a thorny vine. I want to stay close to you.