Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

NEW BEGINNINGS

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Spring is a time of new beginnings as we transition from the long, cold and dark winter.  Where I live in the Midwest, while the calendar may show that it is Spring, the weather has not yet made that transition. In fact, just a few weeks ago we had our biggest snowfall of the season.
Some can get down, or even depressed, during long winters. But Jon Troast, a talented singer/songwriter I recently saw in concert, said about a period of depression that he experienced “The Lord is more concerned about our faith than our comfort.” Unlike C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, where the White Witch cast a spell decreeing that it must always be winter but never Christmas, we know that God is faithful to bring Spring and new beginnings in our lives.
Locally, farmers have not yet been in the fields to plant. My wife and I always enjoy seeing the “little green rows” of the corn and soybeans as they quickly come up out of the fertile Illinois soil. Life can come from death. Jesus himself, in speaking of the resurrection of the body, said that what you sow does not come to life unless it dies. (1 Corinthians 15:36).

I like this short poem from author Eric Metaxas, titled “Renaissance”, which speaks to new beginnings in the Spring:
“Glory, glory,” said the bee.
“Hallelujah”, said the flea.
“Praise the Lord,” remarked the wren.
At springtime all is born again.

A few weeks ago, Christians celebrated the new beginning of Jesus’ resurrection. For the believer, Easter is a wonderful time of new life and new beginnings. Shortly after Easter, I, and many of my friends and co-workers, transitioned from our long-time employer as the organization goes through a massive transformation. For many, this was very unexpected and equally unwelcome. It was like a death, and some became depressed in the months leading up to our final days. Now we are experiencing new beginnings. Some will retire, but many are looking for new jobs, new beginnings. The loss of a job, or even retirement can feel like a death. But life comes out of death. Think of how many funerals you have gone to where someone is soon to, or recently had a baby.
One of my favorite hymns is “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, with lyrics by Thomas Obediah Chisholm. It speaks to God’s faithfulness each day:
Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

For those of you that are currently in the winter season of your life, look up! Take heart. God is faithful. The sun will rise after a dark night and spring will follow winter. Look for those little green rows of refreshment. Hope and trust in the Lord and not in your circumstances.  (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

If music refreshes you, is a balm for your soul or raises your religious affections, take a listen to Andrew Peterson singing RISEN INDEED.  Here’s an excerpt:

And so the winter dies with a blast of icy wind
Like a mournful cry—it’s giving up the ghost again
Another sheet of snow melts away to gold and green
Just look at Peter go, he’s racing to the tomb to see

Where has my Jesus gone?
He is not dead; he is risen, risen indeed

And now the flowers bloom like a song of freedom
Behold the earth is new, if only for the season
And so the seed that died for you becomes a seedling
Just put your hand into the wound that bought your healing

And let your heart believe
He is not dead; he is risen, risen indeed

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 38 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and Colossians 3:23 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

3 thoughts on “NEW BEGINNINGS

  1. This statement, “Think of how many funerals you have gone to where someone is soon to, or recently had a baby” reminded me of a couple of funerals we attended years ago for two of my husband’s family members. At the first funeral, one of his cousins was late-term pregnant. Two weeks later, at the second funeral, she had had the baby! So true, even in the midst of sadness and change around us, God finds a way to put a little sunshine into our hearts.

  2. Great perspective, Bill. Congratulations on your retirement and I have no doubt of many new beginnings.

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