This morning I was reminded of those “Which of these does not belong questions?” that we all had to endure growing up as a child.  You remember:  they ranged from the easy (New Jersey, Ohio, Maine, Canada) to the difficult (Numbers: 3,7,9,10,11,12 Which doesn’t belong?).

So, back to this morning:  I am outside at 7:45am in 5 degree weather (with thoughts of weather reports of 10-14 inches of fresh snow on the way tomorrow dancing in my head).  So you tell me, what does not belong?

1-      A frozen tundra of a back yard/school ball field that looks as if it will not thaw until early June.

2-      A golden retriever/english setter mix dog doing her best Siberian Husky imitation on the aforementioned frozen tundra.

3-      A bundled up middle-aged man doing his best Inuit imitation on the aforementioned frozen tundra.

4-      Birds chirping away in the trees

I think the chances are pretty good that you got that one right.  Yep, to my bewilderment, I actually heard bird chirping away this morning (although it took me a bit to recall just what that foreign sound in fact was).  Talk about music to one’s ears.  And what a stark contrast to the frigid and frozen landscape surrounding me.  There really were signs of life!

A lot of my thoughts so far in 2014 reflected on my blog  have focused on “hope.”  And this morning, here it was again.  Even in the desolation and bitter cold of winter, there is hope that spring will be coming.  Not hope as in a wish, but hope with expectation because the seasons always roll around.  You can count on it.  God has created this world and He faithfully rotates the seasons.  In fact, the seasons are a central component of the covenant promise that God made to Noah: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22)

God is faithful and in His trustworthiness is where we find hope for the future.  Regardless of whatever season your life may being in right now, know that God is in control, loves you infinitely and will give you the ability to endure, learn and grow through whatever you face today.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”  (Isaiah 55:10-11)