Hope in the Again!
Spring is this season where the earth’s axis is tipped on its side and leans closer to the sun. The power of that move causes new life to spring forth all around us. Words like restore, rebirth and renew are used to describe this experience we have every year at this time. This prefix “re” actually means “again.”
My kids chant “Do it again!” to my husband when he does his “7th grade talk” and when this seemingly conservative dad of theirs busts out in hidden breakdance moves on our kitchen floor in his dockers. They chant “do it again” to me when I pretend to swallow objects whole and when I blow huge bubble gum bubbles and they pop all over my face.
Kids enjoy the again. The idea of a God who enjoys the again is an interesting concept. God does not paint a sunset in the sky and ignore its beauty as if He is bored of its brilliance. He does not take for granted the newborn that suckles its mothers breasts at first glance. God does not get tired of doing His Divine breakdance moves in the sky nor does He want to stop blowing bubbles in the air, only to hear His children giggle.
The Bible is a fascinating narrative regardless of your relationship with it. Think about it. A story that begins with a God who breathes life for the first time into the tulip bulb, the bird who has not yet migrated, and the puppy who has yet to become a dog. The God throughout this book makes life and continues to move towards making new again what we have ruined. It ends with a book called Revelations with a picture of a new heaven and a new earth. A new garden and a new city. And Jesus is on a throne. He is King and He says these words: “I am making all things new!”
In between a garden and a garden is a story of humanity ruining what once was new. And a God who is continually trying to restore what we have damaged. It is a story about a destroyed spirituality and how religious people ruined the pursuit of God. It is a story of a people in rebellion who continually to choose their own way and their own way doesn’t seem to work. It is a story of people who have no loyalty- they’ll screw everybody and their brother, to get where they want to go. It is a story of people who are dysfunction junction because of the sins of the generation before them and it has passed on right into their very DNA.
And in the midst of this story of what humanity damaged, God shows up in the hood of these people’s war zone and hangs out with them. And every time this God in the hood whose gang name was Jesus…every time He shows up and collides with people they experience the AGAIN. They experience restoration. Men whose hands were falling off, by Jesus’ touch, their hands were made new again. Blind people who begged to see, by Jesus’ spit, could again stare at beauty. People who had lost all hope, Jesus gave them hope to live again.
Wasn’t it Jesus who brought a dead man back to life and said ‘Dude take your grave clothes off!’? Wasn’t it Jesus who told us we would have to be born again- to experience an again? Wasn’t it Jesus who said in order for you to experience new life, you would have to die to your old one? Wasn’t it Jesus who talked of a new promise, a new commandment and a new hope? The Bible- this entire story is about a God who desires to make life new again.
For some reason God doesn’t give up on our ruin. He doesn’t stay out of our fights. He doesn’t close the door and leave us to our own battles. He isn’t overwhelmed by our dirtiness. From making all things new to reminding us that He is and does and will, we see a God who by His very nature, in how He made the world, one in which the very earth springs forth new life, but also in His character, His plan and purpose, He is moving ALL things toward new.
Sometimes it feels like parts of us live in the dead of winter. Sometimes it feels like where we once bloomed, we withered right into that very soil. Sometimes it feels like the chill has surrounded us to never see the light of sun again. Sometimes it feels like we need to hibernate because hiding is the best option. Or maybe we migrate because running is the new way of hiding. Sometimes it feels like life got dark and we shiver and wonder when things will get back to how they used to be. Will the singing of the bird come out to play again? Will the sun shine on us again? Oh how we would all like to be made new….
This spring, as we see the cherry blooms blossom, the birds sing us awake, the daffodils smiling, the chicks chicking, the grass turning green, the wool sweaters going high up on a shelf to be replaced by things light and airy that peek our pale skin… As we watch this spring unfold, let us be reminded that we have a God who is in the business of making what was in the dead of winter, what got so very old, sick and infected, dark and lonely- He is making even those things new, and one day, if not this one, they will be bursting with life!
Hope, along with me, in His again.