Spring is the most joyous of all times of the year. All nature is awakening from its winter slumber and what a month ago appeared dead and dismal, now is full of life, color and promise. And while each of us has our own particular favorite, God has a very specific reason for each and it is not by accident nor chance that they happen as they do so predictably each year. Each is dependent upon and necessary for the next. I was thinking about this today, and it dawned on me that the same applies to the people who have touched us throughout our lifetimes. God has brought us different people, for different reasons and for different seasons of time.
God gave to the most blessed of us, parents who were with us as we drew our very first breath in life, passing from the arms of Jesus to their anxious arms. They loved, cuddled, nourished and protected us through our formative years. Taught us right from wrong, kindness from cruelty and they held our hand when we were frightened and unsure. They taught us how to be good spouses, parents, to love our country and above all to love God. When we reached adulthood, they faced the most heartbreaking challenge of all, giving us wings and letting us spread them and fly. Then as time marches on we find that our initial roles reverse and just as they held us in their arms when we were born, it becomes our privilege to hold their hands when they leave this world and run into the arms of Jesus.
God gave us childhood and school mate friendships which were necessary to learn how to live life independently of our families. They were necessary to learn how to put into practice the things which we learned at home. It was within those friendships we learned how to think for ourselves and not follow the crowd because it was easier and more enjoyable. We learned the importance of doing what we knew in our heart was right forsaking that which would please others. We learned how to both keep childhood secrets as well as how to confide in a friend. And we learned how to master the art of social skills which would prove most beneficial in every faucet of life. Those of us who are truly blessed still have one of these friendships remaining with them today.
Next God gave us the friendship and the love of our spouse. The soul mate which he chose for us long before we even were. The person who looks at us and sees not only the rising and setting of the sun, but everything that is good in the world. To them our faults and idiosyncrasies are what give us character and make us endearing and the thought of life without us unimaginable. For the impatient of us, it may take more than one attempt to find the other half of our heart, but once we find them we appreciate them all the more. With attention and love, the hands that grasp one another while young, strong and supple, will grasp with even more tenderness when the years have taken their toll.
And then there are a vast number of other people who God sends in and out of our lives for different reasons. Sometimes they come and stay for a while, and sometimes they leave just as quickly as they arrived. It can be as seemingly unimportant as a stranger saying something kind in passing that can have a profound and lasting impact on our life. Sometimes it is us that God uses in these situations and the value there of cannot be underestimated as in the end we may find the blessing to be heaped abundantly upon us.
I have heard it said on more than one occasion that if a person has one friend in the world they can count on, who loves them warts and all, they should count themselves blessed. While I do agree with that, I think we should give due credit to all the many people who have traversed our life if only briefly and not overlook the contribution they have made. Not everyone God sends to us will be with us for the duration of our life, however when we look back we can see why their time with us was necessary for us to move forward.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.