What does spring tell us?

Flowers of Armenia, Haykavan village in the province of Shirak (Wikimedia Commons)

Spring has sprung again. For many, it is the most beautiful and pleasant season; its effects are tremendous. As the world around us awakens, there is almost a corresponding awakening within. If we listen with attentive ears and look with appreciative eyes, spring can tell us some things of permanent value. 

The first thing spring tells us is a message of rebirth of faith and hope. It tells us that the dull skies of winter, the freezing cold and the treacherous ice have not been victorious.

A little boy had it right. He awoke one April morning, looked out of the window and discovered that spring was coming. It had come so silently that he had not noticed it before. When he saw the buds on the trees, in thrilled excitement he called to his grandmother, who was sleeping nearby, “Grandma, grandma, wake up, wake up, the world is just beginning!” Spring tells our faith and hope, “Wake up! The world is just beginning.”

Our faith has its seasons, too. Every one of us has at some time known the winter of despair and hopelessness. We all have had times when we have failed, when we have lost or when we have been disappointed. But we also have known the springtime of faith. Spring tells us, “Don’t worry, friend. Sooner or later, winter will be over. Life will be victorious.”

Secondly, spring tells us of the steadfastness of God. Fall and winter come and go, but we know that no matter how tempestuous they might be, spring will come. The dependability of the seasons strengthens an unshakable trust that God, who creates and sustains the universe, shall not slumber or sleep. Spring inspires hope and trust in God’s goodness and love.

The story is told of Martin Luther, the Father of the Protestant Reformation, who was once very depressed. His wife Catherine did everything she could to change his mood, but all in vain. She went to her room, put on her black clothes and stood silently before her husband. “What’s wrong with you, Catherine?” asked Luther. “Don’t you know, my dear? God is dead. I am in grief,” was her answer. Luther immediately knew what Catherine was driving at and said, “Forgive me, Catherine. I know what you mean. I know God is living, and hope is the last thing that dies in a Christian.”

Spring tells us, “When trouble comes, don’t despair. God is not dead. Have faith in him and in His steadfastness.”

Thirdly, spring tells us of the vindication of life. Life cannot be buried, just as the beam of light cannot be buried. Spring tells us that in the darkest hours of winter, there is still God Almighty working for good. 

“Light in the darkness,” would say the Apostle. It is true in the lives of nations. Valley Forge was a symbol of “light in the darkness” in the history of the United States. George Washington was going through a terrible winter and had reached near desperation due to the lack of support from Congress; his little army was almost starving. Yet, Valley Forge, with all its darkness, came to be a light—a spring for the American soul from which shines the Declaration of Independence.

Avarayr in 451 was a symbol of “light in the darkness” in the history of the Armenian nation. 66,000 Armenian soldiers facing an army of 300,000 challenged a huge empire. Yet, the Battle of Avarayr came to be a light from which brightly shined the Treaty of Nvarsak guaranteeing freedom to the fifth century Armenians. 

Sardarabad, Bash Abaran and Kara Kilisé in 1918 were symbols of “light in the darkness.” The remnant of the Armenian race was fighting for its existence against the invading Turkish army. Their victory on the battleground and the declaration of the independence of Armenia were symbols of light in the contemporary history of Armenia. 

Fourthly, spring tells us about the lesson of patience. Spring doesn’t come overnight; we have to be patient until the winter is over. That takes time. There are many places in life where people can cut corners and save time. However, in important things there is always a waiting period. For example, when we are growing plants, flowers or vegetables, we cannot dispense with time. Similarly, we cannot dispense with time when rearing children or building a character or a home. We must allow a waiting period.

There is an interesting story of an ignorant farmer who wanted his plants to grow faster. He went through the field each day pulling each plant a bit higher than it had grown. In this way he would outstrip his neighbors and hit an early market. One day, however, he noticed that all his plants were dead!

Indeed, there are things in life that do not grow overnight. Their growth takes time. Civilizations don’t grow overnight; one cannot educate children overnight; one cannot build a happy home overnight; character cannot be built overnight. These things take time, effort, wisdom, patience and care.

Spring tells those of us who have moral ears to hear and tells those who have moral eyes to see. It says, “Have faith in God. Sow your seed of goodness by faith. Rear it with patience and care. Do not give up, and surely God will bless your life with a rich harvest.”  

Rev. Dr. Vahan Tootikian

Rev. Dr. Vahan Tootikian

Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian is the Executive Director of the Armenian Evangelical World Council.
Rev. Dr. Vahan Tootikian

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