“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
Many churches are in need of what every football team has: cheerleaders. The job of a cheerleader is to tell everybody “we’re going to make it!” Cheerleaders cheer all the way through the last minutes of the game and act like the team is winning by a big score even when victory is improbable. No matter how bad things look on the scoreboard, cheerleaders’ spirits are high and they lead the fans into joyful and hopeful cheers for the team.
When folks come into today’s sanctuary with broken lives, they need to run into some cheerleaders - folks who are willing to cheer them on and tell them that they are going to make it.
Wherever you are emotionally, I want you to know that roses will bloom again! While I do mean this metaphorically, I am also thinking about Winter Storm Jonas, which dropped record amounts of snow across the East Coast January 22 through January 24, 2016. The snow affected 80 million Americans causing thirteen states to declare a state of emergency. Thirty-one people lost their lives. Jonas also brought extreme flooding to parts of the Jersey shore.
Generally, winter is not my favorite time of year. Winter is a time when the most beautiful of gardens become patches of earth with mere shadows of that which once was. It is a time when the streets become destitute of people and those who do appear move quickly through the often cold, windy and slushy streets. Wintertime is when the body’s immune system gives into the pressures and symptoms of colds and flu. The days are short, the nights are long, and savings accounts dwindle under the rising cost of heating oil. Winter is a time when some church folks stay home.
Yet, as sure as the unfolding of winter is a present reality, so much more is the future reality of spring – roses will bloom again! “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (Genesis 8:22). Because we know that roses will bloom again, we can be content for a season with trees without leaves and gardens without flowers.
Recently a distressed senior was asked how she was feeling. She said, “I feel so bad that I am encouraged because when my feelings change it can’t get any worse. It has to get better.” This woman serves to remind us that we can live forty days without food, eight days without water, four minutes without air, but only a few seconds without hope. Roses will bloom again!
Are you feeling the emotional downswing of a seemingly never ending winter in your life? If so, I am here to remind you that roses will bloom again! The uncertainty of life might be a pressing concern for you in this season of your life, but I want you to know that roses will bloom again! The joy of a happy marriage or relationship may be a fleeting memory for you, but I want you to know that roses will bloom again! You might be going through the temptation of your life but take note: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13). Roses will bloom again!
Roses will bloom again when you allow yourself to go through the winter. Don’t give up now. Don’t quit. Keep on going. Winter will soon be over. As the word says, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b). Roses will bloom again!
Roses will bloom again when your faith meets God’s grace. God’s grace (his unmerited favor) has been with you since your birth. God loves you so deeply he allowed his only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, to die for you so that believing in Jesus you will be saved from your sins.
Believing in Jesus will not erase your winter but it will ensure your future. God votes for you, the devil votes against you and your vote determines the election. Exercise your faith in God today. Faith points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Trust God! I assure you – roses will bloom again!