The Coming of Spring: Being Renewed by the Spirit

Spring trees on campus

All throughout the fall and winter, trees are void of their leaves. Grass becomes hard, stale, and colorless. Life seems to be almost completely absent from nature. But when the spring comes, so too does life. Trees begin to extravagantly fill with volumes of leaves. Grass becomes soft, plush, and turns a vibrant green. Life within the beautiful natural landscape seems to renew after a dormant and seemingly lifeless winter.

In the same manner, so too does life as a whole seem to be set on a path of renewal with each new spring. As the spring and summer come, so too do new jobs, new friends and new plans for the future. We inherently recognize this desire for renewal not only within our lives, but deep within our souls. At our core, we yearn after a reinvigorated spirit that only God can provide.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still water. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Psalm 23:1-3)

Renewal comes with being planted. Trees cannot renew their growth unless their roots are planted deep in a healthy and rich foundation. In the same way, we must have our roots continually planted deep in the rich foundations of the Lord. Though there be dry seasons filled with struggle, sadness, suffering and hardship, the Lord is still faithful to hold us in His presence and comfort us through our afflictions. When the seasons of renewal and new life come, we remain held in His hands, knowing that He will still hold us and not let go.

We know that renewal is possible because it is how we have been saved! In His abundance of mercy, God provided Jesus to be the propitiation for our sins so that can be forgiven. When we put our faith solely in Christ Jesus, the Spirit comes into our hearts and begins the greatest renewal we could ever know: the renewal of our hearts. Our hearts, once ruled by our flesh are now directed by the Spirit.

God has given us his Holy Spirit, so that we can be transformed and renewed not season by season, but day by day. In 2 Corinthians 4, we are reminded that even as our bodies physically decay like a lifelong winter, our souls are being renewed and grown like a lifelong spring. "So, we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16). In His great love for us, God has enabled us to be grown by His Spirit each day so that we may know Him more deeply and intimately.

These times of renewal are necessary after dry seasons in which we feel downtrodden and discouraged. When the troubles of life hit, they are difficult and often drift us toward discontentment and dormancy. But the Spirit helps us to come into the presence of the Lord and lay our burdens at his feet. Our journey is not fought on our own, but by an intercessory Savior who has already won the battle and who is faithful to provide for us.

So, as we enter this new season of renewal, we must challenge ourselves with this question; "Where are we planted?" Are our roots planted in bad foundations, and are we hoping to grow by coincidence? Or, are our roots planted deep in the foundation of the Lord, depending upon Him to grow and renew us day by day and to sustain us through the dry, wintry seasons of life?

Written by Brooks Anthony

Brooks Anthony writes for the University Communications Department for Dallas Baptist University.