If you happen to be living in Western Pennsylvania, you will immediately resonate when I say that Spring is having a very difficult time getting established! In fact, Spring officially arrived 33 days ago and hardly any flowers have bloomed or any leaves begun to open with their gorgeous spring colors.
At this point, most of us are holding on because we have had a clear vision of what Spring is to look like and we believe that eventually … it will fully arrive.
As I was thinking about this reality over the last few days, I was reminded that this may be descriptive of the spiritual lives of many people that each of us may happen to know. Perhaps they have had an experience with God or have demonstrated some level of openness that had been here-to-fore absent; but they simply have not become fully alive with the promised blessing of “the abundant life.” (John 10:10) It’s the vision of what we hope to be true that sustains us through the long months and sometimes years of waiting for change to come. This is true when it comes to individuals and is also true when it’s applied to doing something of significance, even greatness, for the Kingdom of God. Such things always begin with a vision. However, this is where discernment is needed because it is not a vision of doing something great or achieving something of lasting value; it’s a vision of God and how great He is and how worthy of our trust He has proven to be.
Seeing people change is a marvelous encouragement. Churches that make a difference in their communities are much needed and potentially of great influence. However, achievements and influence, change and development can all come to an end. That’s the power of a vision of God. It’s never fully realized and at the same time, it never disappoints!
In a recent conversation I had with a friend, he shared with me how much he had looked forward to building a new home and just how much enjoyment and pleasure he would receive seeing his vision come to pass. He then went on to say that in just a couple of weeks, he began to realize that the house was not going to satisfy that deep inner hunger for something more. In fact, he shares, he felt a bit depressed because the 18 months of planning, providing, constructing, and taking possession of the house did not satisfy.
A vision of God is not like that. A vision of God continually brings you back for more of who He is and the reason is that you recognize that there is so much more of Him yet to be revealed: That you can go very deep into the heart of God and very high into the revelation of God and still not feel like you’ve “arrived”!
For me, it’s often in moments of corporate worship that I catch glimpses of who God is that exceed my own experience and understanding. However, the paradox of knowing God is that often times the greatest revelation comes in the quietest moments that we make for intimacy with Him.
So as we patiently await the arrival of the Spring for which we have great hope, why not invest some of these rainy and cold days in the pursuit of a greater vision of God. That vision will surely blossom and bear good fruit!