The Wonder of Spring
Editor’s Note: In a nod to our Presbyterian heritage, we regularly feature a column from a PMMA® chaplain in our newsletter. This month’s column comes from Rev. Richard Russell, chaplain at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor®.
The Wonder of Spring
As we move into spring, I so enjoy seeing the wonder of God’s handiwork. The beauty of new life in nature. Some of my favorites are the honeysuckle and dogwood. It causes me to think of walking afresh led by God’s loving care. I’m reminded of a beautiful poem written by Howard Thurman, called Give Me the Courage to Live.
Give me the courage to live!
Really live, not merely exist.
Daring the truth-
Particularly the truth about myself!
Ever changing, ever growing, ever adapting.
Enduring the pain of change
As though ‘twere the travail of birth.
Give me the courage to live,
Give me the strength to be free
And endure the burden of freedom
And the loneliness of those without chains;
Let me not be trapped by success,
Nor by failure, not pleasure, nor grief,
Nor malice, nor praise, nor remorse!
Give me the courage to go on!
Facing all that waits on the trail—
Going eagerly, joyously on,
And paying my way as I go,
Without anger or fear or regret
Taking what life gives,
Spending myself to the full,
Head high, spirit winged, like a god—
On… on… till the shadows draw close.
Then, even when darkness shuts down,
And I go out alone, as I came,
Naked and blind, as I came,
Even then, gracious God, hear my prayer:
Give me the courage to live.
These are beautiful words that paint a picture of living life to its fullest, embracing the new and refreshing experiences, as well as those difficult times that come in life.
In Isaiah 40: 26-31, we see Isaiah, sharing about the wonder of God in nature and his power and strength and enduring love that brings true hope.
“Lift up your eyes, and look to the heavens, who created all these? He who brings out the story host, one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel? My way is hidden from the Lord, my cause is discarded by my God? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and he is understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the week. Even youth grow tired and weary and young men, stumble and fall, but those who hope in the lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings. Like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they won’t walk and not be faint.”
We can see within the beauty of a new spring, a renewed hope in our loving God. He will take care of us in his own loving way that reflects the wisdom that only he can share.