03 February 2010

Of Groundhogs and God

Every February 2nd, Punxatawney Phil shyly greets hundreds of waiting fans, news organizations, and curious passers-by at Gobbler’s Knob to do a little prognosticating. And with very rare exception, Phil walks out of his little burrow, looks up to the sky obscured by trees, people and lights, then looks down to see his shadow. He returns to the burrow, jeered by the crowds, newspapers and television stations, and social media sites. Phil’s shadow might mean six more weeks of winter, but delivers a beautiful promise.

Spring will come. Because it always does. In good time.

On March 23rd, the vernal equinox takes place without fail. It doesn’t come a moment too soon or too late. The sun and earth fall into perfect alignment so that the day and night are exactly the same length. Spring! The flowers may bloom early, filling the air with their fragrance, and the sun’s warmth may dance on the shoulders of those eagerly awaiting her affection. Or the skies may still be grey, hesitant to shake off the chill of winter. But spring will still arrive, on time. In good time.

It’s the same in our lives, isn’t it? We want so much for life’s dark winters to move along quickly. We plead with God to show us spring. Instead, He casts His shadow. Over and over again in scripture, God’s shadow is seen as a place not of fear but of comfort– a shadow that promises our soul’s spring will indeed arrive, on time. In good time.

Shadows (David Crowder)

Life is full of light and shadow
O the joy and O the sorrow
O the sorrow

And yet will He bring dark to light
And yet will He bring day from night

When the shadows fall on us
We will not fear, we will remember

When darkness falls on us
We will not fear, we will remember

When all seems lost , when we're thrown and we're tossed
We remember the cost
We’re resting in the shadow of the Cross

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