First Shoots- Look, See, Pray

First shoots of wheat, farm near Midhurst

Dunno about you, but this lockdown- the third- is wearing down my resistance. Last time round we had longer daylight, lighter evenings, and the gardens were showing daffodils and bright blue muscari. This time? Dark wet cloudy days, miserable news on every broadcast, and according to one of the “popular” daily papers Britain is about to be covered with tons of snow. Take heart, they are usually classed as “fiction” not as serious newspapers. We may get a flurry, and the northern and western uplands will be covered (it is winter, after all) but it shouldn’t last too long… I hope.

My mood has lightened this week.

Firstly because the USA installed an adult in the White House- without further rioting. You may not agree with me, but my honest opinion about the 45th President is not fit to be shared in public. So I will say no more! The newly installed President will be imperfect- but we can at least hope for sensible, mature discourse and even (some) rational action. If you hold a different opinion, please be gracious! Enough politics.

What else lifted my spirits? Going through some photographs taken in January of a previous year. One of those rare January days where a pale blue sky stands as backdrop to leafless trees, and the cool sunlight encourages the first shoots of wheat to break surface, tiny ribbons of emerald glistening against the rich dark loam. As I looked at the picture, it brought back memories- and prompted wandering thoughts. “What about those sheep? They should be lambing soon…”

Cold fresh air. Rooks were cawing in the trees off to the left. Being with a special, special person. Uplifting!

The promise of Spring destroys the regrets of Winter’s shade.

Many of us struggle with our mental wellbeing in the winter. Gloomy days promote gloomy thoughts, cold damp weather makes us vulnerable, and we simply don’t get enough sunshine to produce the vitamin D we all need for proper health. This year many of us are staying safely home; others are having to work and risk the virus. There is a vocal minority refusing to take the pandemic seriously, risking themselves and the lives of others, whilst the medical teams are strained to breaking point and desperate for rest. Regrets, we have in plenty.

But we also have hope. We need to remind ourselves that God is still Sovereign: that His purpose shall be fulfilled. Here is a verse from Isaiah that reminds us that winter has a purpose- it prepares the way for the Spring. May God lighten our spirits with hope, with faith, and with Truth.

Isaiah 55:10 (NLT) “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.”

Be at peace- Spring IS coming, and we can be the ones to encourage others in that hope.

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