Bittersweet :: By Camilla Smith

What a glorious day—75 and sunny (albeit 50 MPH wind), but that blew right through, penetrating my skull and clearing my head.As I write this, the clouds are marching in and it looks like a storm is on the horizon.Green grass is beginning to peak through the dry, dead matted sod and a few daffodils have bloomed. Spring is here and God’s beauty will soon be back in all its glory.

Springtime really is a time of renewal.Cleansed from the winter snows and the bitter cold, we have an opportunity to get our mind, body and spirit refreshed.God has given us all the desire to come out of hibernation and witness the rebirth of the grandeur that He has provided for our senses and our pleasure. What a joy it will be to exist in this blessed state every moment when we are in His Kingdom! I imagine the most perfect of spring days every day in our heavenly home.

Some days though, it is difficult to imagine eternity in all its perfection, still carrying on as we do in this fallen world.Some days, the promise of unspeakable joy and the magnificence of that bright land are the only things that get us through a trying day.And some days, the complexities of day-to-day life are simply overwhelming and bring us to our knees.

My friends, the time for perseverance and spiritual stamina is upon us in a mighty way.We know it and we feel it and we have to pull ourselves up and fight the battle that wages around us. We know the outcome.We see the prize. We are fully aware that our Savior is standing by, waiting to come for us in a moment’s notice.

This time of year makes me realize the significance of the season we are in, while waiting for the Lord to come.Winter is nearly past, although there is always the threat of another hard freeze, a few late snows, and then the severe weather that accompanies spring.We know that the reality of winter could still rear its ugly head, before the splendor of spring and summer finally win out.

It is the same with the final days of this age.God’s majesty awaits us in a place so perfect that we cannot even know the wonders that lie ahead.“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

But we are not there yet.And we still have work to do.

In the transition from winter to spring we bundle up, to ward off the cool days and make the most of the warmth and sunshine like a great reward for a harsh four months.What great reward awaits us when we break through winter for the final time and arrive in God’s everlasting home for us.

I write these words to you to encourage you, my fellow believers, in the days that are ahead. I feel like God may be gently pushing me through the door of this wonderful two-year writing experience that I have been blessed to experience, and he is softly nudging me toward another door. Funny thing is, I cannot see the label on that next door yet, but I am sure it will become clear to me in the days to follow. And maybe the first door will never fully close behind me.So many people have encouraged me and I want to do the same for them. So many wonderful new writers are appearing on the scene and I am anxious to read every word they write!Make the most of your ministries and don’t be discouraged if you make a misstep. Learn and grow from it. Here is a little thought I want to share.Today, while enjoying the extraordinary weather that God had provided here in the Midwest, I went out for yet another walk.You know what is coming next—a song analogy.I was feeling a little frazzled, confused by the daily barrage of Satan’s negativity, and two songs came on in a row, that I choose to think were not by chance.The first song is a Gaither classic, He’s Alive. As this song was dramatically ending, I uttered to myself, “Well I know two things for sure, He IS alive, and He IS coming back.” The next song up—The Midnight Cry.

Couldn’t have been more perfect.

Readers, I pray that all of you are anxiously awaiting your King’s soon return.I pray that you know Him in a personal way and that you have asked Him for forgiveness for your sins and are living and walking in a daily journey with Him.I pray that you are utilizing your God-given abilities to find His purpose for you and that you continue to let your light shine and change the hearts and minds of the unbelievers who are in your world.And I pray for strength, wisdom and guidance for us all, in these days before eternal spring arrives.

Encourage one another.Resist the urge to argue about silly things.Keep your mind focused on the things of the Lord and let go of petty thoughts. Hold your ground when it comes to the gospel and what you know is right and true.Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and make you a model that Christ would be proud of.And above all, keep on working for the Kingdom.

I’ll close with some uplifting verses from the Gaither band:

They say there’s only joy inside that city.

Little children playing by the Tree of Life.

No pain, no disappointment there to hurt us,

And Jesus Christ himself will be the Light.

That sounds like home to me.

Right where I want to be.

There’ll be no tears to fill our eyes again.

The hills will echo with the story,

As we sing of His grace and glory…

Where the saints of God will be,

That sounds like Home to me.

I know we will meet again—maybe here, maybe there, maybe sooner than we think. And it will be another grand and glorious day!