Last week, in the throws of an anthropomorphic fit, I gave personalities to the months of the year.
That’s as far as I got for now, but I’ll finish the rest of them as the year goes on. Anyway, it got me to thinking about spring. After winter, isn’t it fun to think about spring? Mud, robins, piles of grotesquely grayish snow. Yep, spring is a fun season. It’s my favorite.
Now, how many of us have heard, “Spring is here!” after a warm thaw in February or early March, and the promise of new life tantalizes us after a winter of icy roads.
I hear it a lot. People base spring’s arrival according to the earth’s response to weather and climate. “I hear Red-winged Blackbirds outside,” a friend announced to me the other day. “That means spring is here.” To his words though, I say “baloney.”
Spring is a season which starts with the vernal equinox, when the celestial equator and the earth’s are on the same plane. (I could have said that it is when the earth’s equator is on the same plane as the center of the sun, but celestial equator is the coolest astronomical phrase ever!) Spring, therefore, is derived from the earth’s position according to the sun.
In northern climates, snow clings to the earth through March, and sometimes into April. My brother, whose birthday falls in mid-April, was born on a day when large flakes of frozen water fell from the sky. But that doesn’t mean that it was still winter. Winter was in the past, even if the evidence of the earth obscured that little fact.
Pondering this, I was reminded that our salvation is like the changing of the seasons. When we confess Jesus as our eternal savior by His work on the cross, we are saved and His righteousness is imputed to us. It’s our position in the Son that determines what “season” we’re in.
There are many non-Christian people who have evidence of a good life. They donate to charity, they’re act kindly, they display joy — they are like the warming earth during a thaw. They are winter in disguise of spring. No matter what they do they still have a cold heart to God.
But just as good works don’t mean a person is saved, committing sin doesn’t mean a believer becomes unsaved, any more than snow in April means winter has returned. Then there are those cold spring days in which it doesn’t feel like winter is gone. Many, perhaps all, believers struggle with times in their life when they don’t feel saved. But it’s not how we feel that determines whether we’ve been justified by grace.
The weather is a symptom of the season, not the catalyst for it. Even so, our works do not earn salvation, they are an effect of a transformed life, even if it doesn’t always feel like we’re saved.
Isn’t that a wonderful thing to know? It makes my heart sing like a Red-Winged Blackbird.