By Angel Sullivan
A few years ago, I planted a lemon/lime tree in my yard. For a long time the tree did not grow. It remained small and didn’t blossom; at one point, the little tree even appeared dead. My friends told me I should dig the tree up and throw it away. However, something in my heart said there was more life in the tree than anyone could see. It wasn’t until two years after the tree had been planted that suddenly it began to flower. Soon after that, there was an abundance of fruit.
The Lenten season can be this way. We go through dark and what may appear to be unproductive times in our lives. To outward appearances, we may look dead and some may think we should be cast out. However, the reality is that below the surface–in those dark, cold, lonely places that aren’t pretty and where no one wants to venture physically, spiritually, or emotionally–is exactly where God prepares us for a new life.
In the book of Isaiah it was during this time that God’s chosen people were captured by the Babylonians and their future was unknown. However, in Isaiah 65:17-25 God assures us that during the dark moments that there is hope. God says, “Pay close attention now: I’m creating new heavens and a new earth. All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain are things of the past, to be forgotten” (The Message).
The Lenten season we have just been through gave us the opportunity to walk through the difficult journey of grief and pain, giving our sorrows over to God. Lent is a time of preparation for Easter morning—for embracing God’s gift of a new beginning in God’s given son, Jesus Christ.
So now, on Easter, we are able to celebrate that we are not cast out–we instead are able to grow sturdy and strong in God’s presence. Alleluia! All is not dead. Alleluia! We blossom and bear fruit in God’s love. Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.