By Brenda Black
As the earth warms and skies brighten, the transformation in God's creation blossoms hour by hour. Where once there withered beige reeds bent from shouldering tons of snow this winter, there is now a sprig of emerald peeping through the flattened, dead grass of last summer. Just a glimpse here and there of hope and promise of spring. But what if you can't see past the brown?
Sometimes I see brown because I just feel brown. Brown is crunchy and dry and easily broken. When you walk on brown, it crumbles. Brown is life ebbing away. I get testy from too many cloudy days. Not only my skin gets dry in winter, but I can feel dried up mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. At times like these, I can snap like twig in anger or crumble like a late autumn leaf if someone hurts my feelings. Yes, sometimes I feel brown.
I'd much rather be green. Green is supple and pliable and full of life. When you step on green, it springs back up! Where brown signals death, green is life, new and fresh. It's energy to rise above drudgery or draining circumstances. Green people are like Gumby. When things get tough, they just roll with the punches and bend down on their knees until the storm passes. I want to be green!
So what's a person to do when they feel like they are stuck in some bland, brown funk? Look for the green! You'll find it camouflaged in the love and provision of God through His Son Jesus.
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.” (Mathew 12:18-21)
There you have it – Hope incarnate--and tenderness toward those who are weary of long winters and dry spells spiritually. God's mercies toward those who are crumbling are compassionate. A bruised reed he will not break. A smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Brown doesn't have to last forever. Just like the seasons that give way to one another, so the dread and heaviness that plagues your life can be surrendered to joy. If you feel brown, it might be time to sit down and rest in the Savior.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
“He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:1-6)
If you feel brown, it's time to take a look at the Lord who died for you and to this day cheers you on.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance this race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Brown has to go when Hope and Heart spring forth. It's just a matter of days until we officially proclaim spring's arrival. But you don't have to wait to break out of brown and get your green going! Think about God's great love and his perfect sacrifice. Think about the promises He's fulfilled and the plans He has for your bright future. Think about how God takes a barren world and fills it with fruit year after year after year. Now think green for your own life and you will see God's green in no time.