Promise of Spring
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, " So you're the Messiah, are you" Prove it by saving yourself - and us , too, while you're at it!"
But the other criminal protested. "Don't you even fear God when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn't done one thing wrong." Then he said, :Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."
And Jesus replied, "Today you will be with me in Paradise. This is a solemn promise." Luke 23: 39-43 (TLB)
Gary E. Crum is from Virginia. When he was hiking in the woods one early spring day, the sky was overcast. The scenery was full of bleak, leafless trees. As he climbed a hill, a gust of wind turned his thoughts to sadness and melancholy. God seemed far away from him at that moment.
But suddenly Gary saw an unexpected sight: a tiny blue wild-flower peeking up at him from a pile of dead leaves. At once his melancholy and loneliness left his heart. Spring was already on its way, and God was sending him a message even as he had felt far from God.
Even when God's blessings seem distant, the promises of God - like the promise of spring - will be fulfilled. When we remember these promises while waiting on God, they can become more evident. We can give thanks to God and remember Jesus' promise to the man next to him as they were both dying at Golgotha: Paradise is coming!
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us keep our eyes on your brightness and glory when the world seems dark, in Jesus' name, amen.