New Life in Christ

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In the southern hemisphere, we are currently enjoying the beauty of spring. I live in Christchurch, New Zealand, and it is truly a beautiful city at this time of year. Streets are lined with trees that have burst into blossom, and avenues of trees have daffodils planted under them. One of the prettiest displays is in the Botanical Gardens. Alongside the river Avon, and behind the Public Hospital, two hectares of trees have been under-planted with spring flowers. There are snowdrops, grape-hyacinths, crocuses, bluebells, and every imaginable variety of daffodil. It makes for a wonderful sea of colour that people can wander through. Everywhere one looks, there is a new view to admire.
That beautiful place now holds very poignant memories for my daughter and me, because, just ten days before she lost her fight with cancer, we pushed my sister in a wheelchair through the Gardens. Elaine thoroughly enjoyed her time there, we had fun together, and got some great photos for remembrance.
When Elaine looked at the new growth and beauty of spring around her that day, I’m sure she knew her time on earth was nearly over. There was a peace and joy about her that day, which spoke volumes of her belief in an eternal hope and salvation. As she sat in the sun, with the incredible rainbow of colours around her, she said to Tania, “How can anyone look at all this beauty, and not believe there is a God?”
That beauty assured her that her Lord cared, that He was the Lover of her soul, that her time of suffering was nearly over. She was about to start a new life in eternity with Him, an eternity where there is no more pain or tears, and she could worship Him forever.
Some liken life to the seasons, where spring is our birth and early years, summer the energetic, productive years, autumn the middle years, and winter the time when we die.
To me, though, the season of winter is more a time of resting and quiet renewal, and it leads on to new growth and development in the next spring. Life for the Christian then, seems to have five seasons, not four, because death is just preparation for a new kind of life, a ‘forever spring’. Through belief in the saving power of Jesus Christ, which gives us our ticket into heaven and eternity with God, life only has that extra dimension of new life. To believe in just four seasons in life, leaves you with no future after death.
The physical season of spring is a time of incredible regrowth, but Paul, in Colossians 2, has a prayer for our spiritual regrowth too. He prayed, ‘And now, just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust Him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught.’

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