It really wouldn’t have been a proper Minnesota April (or May?) without a good snowstorm, now would it have been? Besides, I needed proof that crocuses really do bloom under such circumstances. They seem no worse for the wear for it—and I don’t suppose any of the rest of us are either. But just in case you were struggling with the idea of snow and cold after so long a stretch of warm weather—or even struggling with some other frustration or trial that has nothing to do with snow—consider this admonition of how to live that these brave little flowers model well:
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation…” (Romans 12:12)
Or this one:
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
Just a friendly reminder that “everything” really does mean every thing, and “tribulation” applies to the little things just as well as the big things. Be patient, be grateful—and enjoy the quirks of the season!
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’d like to say that these pussy willows were officially spotted on February 18th, which is some kind of crazy record in my personal experience. (I just didn’t get around to photographing them until now.) I guess that February thaw played a bit of a trick on the willows this year, which honestly makes this post rather anticlimactic. After all, signs of spring in February seem far too premature to be very exciting.
And yet—I can’t get away from the fact that pussy willows remain that quintessential sign of the spring’s eventual arrival. When we get that inevitable snowstorm in a week or so, and the thermometer drops back down into the single digits, I will remember these. Whether we have an early spring, or whether it waits until the average time—or even if it teases us and shows up late—it will surely come.And so, my husband reminded us this morning in church, will Christ. And, interestingly, the signs of springtime are exactly the metaphor used in Scripture to parallel the signs that we can watch for to know that His coming is near.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24:32-33)
Perhaps you were not expecting pussy willows at this time of year, and didn’t see them. Well, it’s not the end of the world if you didn’t.
But don’t miss the signs of His coming because you weren’t expecting them. That will be the end of the world.
“Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.“ (Matthew 24:42)
To read about what those signs of Christ’s coming will be, read Matthew 24—and to see pussy willow posts from past springs, see here and here.