Alberta has just come through one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record, and I am thrilled to now see the white stuff melting away and green grass beginning to show. Springtime for me is always a time of renewal. It’s like I come out of my hibernating cocoon and start to flit about with renewed purpose and renewed energy. As I’ve said on multiple occasions, I am NOT a fan of winter but for some reason only God knows, He has planted me and my family here and He still purposes me to stay.
Spring gives me renewed awareness to the beauty and blessings here on The Ponderosa, as we like to call our little acreage just north of Cochrane. The Rockies show off their splendor, still wearing their winter coats of white, but shedding more and more layers as the weather warms up. My garden looks bleak, I will admit. Frost still lingers in the soil, so I won’t be planting my annuals for a couple more months. Makes me just a little envious to see my southern friends share pictures in February of their flowers and foliage in full bloom. One thing about our short summers in Alberta is that we have to take advantage of those warm months from June to late September and pack a lot of outside activity into them, before the hibernation season sets in again and memory-making is mostly confined to the indoors.
This winter has been long and dark in other ways as well. I continue to pray for friends who have lost loved ones. The enemy of this world seems to wreck havoc in ways that astounds me with the sheer cruelty, brutality and evil at times. Over and over and over again I repeat this verse as a constant reminder: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) Despite what is happening around me in the world and closer to home, I need to keep reminding myself that God is in control and He is GREATER than the evil one.
It’s hard to stay up beat when all the news seems to focus on the negative. When my prayer list is full of those dear ones who are struggling with health, marriages, faith and family upheavals. When I witness first hand the bullying on social media, the attacks on my Christian values and morals by people who just want to say and do ugly things just because they can get away with it. It is in those times of discouragement, I need to take my “thoughts captive” and focus on the promises and great encouragement from Scripture.
Today, Psalm 121 was EXACTLY what I needed to read on this beautiful spring morning. Perhaps it’s exactly what you need to read today too!
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.