The spring breeze teased my loose, long hair as it sailed behind me when the swing went up, and cascaded around my shoulders when gravity pulled the swing back. Light from the late afternoon sun filtered through the new, bright green leaves of the tree in front of me. I closed my eyes, but could still see the magnificent light patterns. “Ding-dong-ding-dong-“, the distant church bell sounded softly, but clearly. I tried to get my swing to go with the rhythm of the rest of the chimes “-dong-ding-ding-dong”, which was followed by the hour. I counted the chimes: one, two, three, four, five. I’ve always loved seeing the first signs of spring after the cold dead-ness of winter – especially when I can see them from my favorite swing.
In my area, the way I usually first notice that spring is coming soon is when the Bradford Pear trees bloom in all white, generally around late February and early March. Later, the white blooms become dominated by leaves of bright green that progressively become darker. Several other types of fruit trees start to bloom around the same time the pear trees bloom. Bright green color begins to grace the branches of willows and a few other types of trees, including the tall, slender tree in front of my swing. Seasons are a remarkable part of God’s grand creation.
Do you have a favorite season? I love it that we do have different seasons, but would have to admit that no, I do not love all seasons equally. I tend to prefer warm sunshine, butterflies, and going barefoot, so winter is my least favorite and summer is my favorite season. Spring and autumn are beautiful, too. Regardless of how you feel about one season or another, seasons, in general, were a part of God’s original “very good” creation and not a punishment for sin. God created the stars, sun, moon, and the way that they are positioned, saying that they are for “signs and seasons, and for days, and years”. He designed the way that the Earth tilts, causing the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere to have opposite seasons. The Lord, our Creator, is the Author of order Who designed patterns, cycles, and seasons all throughout His Creation. God is good – He does not make chaos or disaster.
Several weeks ago, I heard a well-educated, intelligent Christian trying to defend his belief that Earth is billions of years old and dinosaurs lived before humans. He was so very close to the truth, and yet so far. Because Noah’s global flood, mentioned in the Bible, gives a better catastrophic explanation for fossils and rock layers than long periods of time do, I asked for his thoughts on the flood. His responses were a little scattered, sketchy, and unclear, but the one point he was very adamant about is that a real, global, catastrophic flood like I was talking about would throw off seasons and therefore must not have happened because the Bible says:
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” ~ Genesis 8:22
Sadly, I suppose this Christian must not have read what was going on in the passage around this verse. The Lord gave this promise to Noah after the flood in the very same conversation that He promised never again to destroy the entire earth with water and used a rainbow as a reminder of that promise. It’s important to read each Bible verse in the context that it was written. After the flood, the climate would have changed a lot in different places around the world, causing an “ice age”, but changing the climates of some regions doesn’t mean there weren’t seasons. “Seasons” are large-scale cycles that influence smaller cycles, like the life cycles of plants and animals, while “climates” are conditions we normally expect in a certain areas and “weather” is what you actually get in a day. For example, Tuscon Arizona is a desert (climate), so when I was there about a month ago, I expected it to be a little warmer than my home in north Texas, but that week turned out to be quite cold and cloudy (weather).
Because God is good and just, He did destroy the whole earth with a catastrophic flood because people had become so very evil and disobedient. A righteous God required righteousness. The price of sin must be paid. That’s precisely why Jesus came – to pay the price for sin so that we might be able to have a restored relationship with our Creator. The Lord is faithful – He upholds the seasons and patterns of our everyday life and allows us a way of escape from our dreadful fate.
Copyright Sara J. Bruegel, March 2016
“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness” ~ Lamentations 3:22-23