This week as I look around me I see a beautiful color becoming dominant in my surroundings! The earth is coming alive, it seems. The grass is growing fast, my neighbors and I are changing the oil in our mowers and testing them, preparing for a new season. On our daily walks on the prayer trail it’s so exciting to see leaves and buds beginning to emerge in a world that for months was brown and drab.
The color green, perhaps more than any other is a sign of life. The grass, the flowers in our flowerbeds, the trees and bushes are all producing green colors because they carry beautiful botanical life.
Paul’s words in Romans 8 remind us that it is the Holy Spirit within us that is the source of spiritual life, and that if He is present and in control, we too will have life in our mortal bodies that makes us green and growing, alive in Christ! God is reminding me this morning that this, life is not something I have control of or can create, only yield to and deeply appreciate. This week, as we said goodbye to Morgan for his final 6 weeks at Rosedale, we felt tender emotions, surrendering him and the season ahead into the Father’s hands. I was reminded that SURRENDER PRODUCES TENDERNESS, this seems to be a life principle that is reliable. The opposite is also true, that CONTROL MAKES OUR HEARTS BRITTLE.
This is especially true in staying spiritually green and growing. When we surrender daily to the Holy Spirit, the SAME SPIRIT THAT RAISED JESUS FROM DEATH, we stay tender and green, and He is able to make the person and character of Jesus alive in us. But the moment we take control of our own life, we begin to experience drought, and the color fades to brown.
This week is one of my favorites as a sports fan, MASTER’S week. The Masters is played on one of the most beautiful, lush, green places on earth in Augusta, GA. I find it interesting that one of the prizes for winning this tournament is a green jacket, a jacket every professional golfer longs for perhaps more than any other prize. The green jacket is a reward for overcoming many tests from a difficult golf course with many hazards, and also overcoming the internal temptations to give up after a costly mistake, or to give in to the intense pressure that the possibility of failure brings.
In Revelation 2:10, Jesus promised the church in Smyrna a crown of life for enduring testing, temptation, even to the point of death, and being faithful. This crown of life is the reward for faithfulness, for surrendering to him when the tests come, not giving in to temptation, and not giving up!
In recent weeks as I walk through the doors at Bethany, as I worship with you all from Sunday to Sunday, as I see us listen to each other and love, I see the color GREEN, signs of surrender, tenderness, and life. This is even more beautiful than the colors in my yard or even the lush greens at Augusta National. It is a sure sign that the Holy Spirit is having his way in us, producing life that brings him glory!
God bless you richly this week with His peace and presence!