… winter is past; spring is coming …

A very dear friend of mine sent this to me a month ago as she rolled herself in the dirt, treading with me on the most difficult month together.  I now re-read what she wrote and sent to me, all I could put in response is my feeble Amen.  As I now walk with another friend who is going through her own valley of shadow of death and darkness, may she ARISES as the Lord holds her close like this:

My Beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, My darling,
My beautiful one, come with Me.
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, My darling;
My beautiful one, come with Me.

As Lord Jesus is whispering into her ears, “The winter is past, spring is coming. You’ve been laid low, but now is the time to arise. Get up, My darlings, My lovely ones, My beloved ones, and come with Me.”

Dear Lord Jesus, last evening’s troubling stories shape today’s morning prayer. I went to bed last night, wearied with woes of friends. I arise today hungry with hope in you, our great and gracious Savior.

Thank you for being honest with us about life this side of the new heaven and new earth.

You’re not an on-demand panacea, promising the elimination hardships and heartaches. You’re not a miracle-computer, passively waiting to be programmed, as we exercise the right formula.

You’re so much more; so much better.

You’re a very present help, pledging your presence in every circumstance and trial—committed to working in all things, for our good and your glory.

Troubling news doesn’t have to cripple our hearts.

Indeed, may it carry our hearts to you today, for you are ever so trustworthy, Lord Jesus.

For my friend stunned with breath-taking health news, we declare our trust in you, Jesus. How we long for the day when words like cancer, dementia and heart disease will no longer appear in our vocabulary. Until that Day, we unabashedly and earnestly pray for healing, and we trust you for all-surpassing peace and more-than-sufficient grace.

For my friend saddened with heart-ripping issues with their children, we declare our trust in you, Jesus. Few reports carry more power to dishearten us than those related to our children.

Whether they’ve been vandalized by others’ darkness, or victimized by their own foolish choices, it hurts real bad and real deep.

We appeal to your covenant faithfulness and your powerful reach: capture the hearts of our children, Jesus, and help us love them well in the chaos and the crisis.

For friend waking up to pick slips, financial burdens and no apparent options, we declare our trust in you, Lord Jesus. Things impossible with man are possible with you.

We pray, not only for your provision, but also for our generosity with one another. May the law of love be fulfilled as we bear one another’s burdens—spiritually and emotionally, physically and fiscally.

Lord Jesus, we can “trust in you as we trust in God,” for you are God—the Son of God and God the Son. We can “take heart” because you took our sin, and have already overcome the world for us. In the world we will have tribulation and broken stories, but in you we are given all the grace, peace, and hope we need. In Jesus’ powerful and beautiful name, we pray.

“I have told you these things,

so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.

– John 16:33

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