No one can deny that spring in Tennessee wears many faces. From unexpected snow to eighty-degree days, to thunderstorms and tornadoes, no one ever knows what any one day might bring. Except for the pollen and seasonal allergies, little is guaranteed.
Spring is a reminder that life brings hope.
For all the complaining we do in the South about our seasons, I am never disappointed to see the tender shoots of buttercups and tulips pressing through the ground of my small garden. They take over a once barren corner with their green heads in February, and by the end of the month, the buttercups are in full bloom. I know that the tulips will not be long behind, and though both of these flowers are too short-lived for my taste, they always show me truths of God and his Word.
Out of the deadness of our hearts, God brings something new.
The starkness of winter is a good illustration of the trials of life, the troubles in our world, and even our hardened hearts. I don’t know if you’ve been feeling it of late, but I know since the arrival of that dreaded pandemic, the mood of our world has changed. It’s been there all along, I can assure you, but I think many of us just more acutely felt it during these past few years. For many, it’s led to depression and despair. The economic downturn has also added to the downturn in attitudes and outlooks.
In the midst of our own darkness, I’ve noticed signs of a spiritual springtime. In my own life, I saw this early through an unusual television series called The Chosen. A project of Christian filmmaker Dallas Jenkins, I joined thousands of others watching the out-of-the-box production model take on an ancient story. Completely crowdfunded and free to viewers, many people found this series while isolated in the early days of the pandemic.
Now, officially a Chosen Fan, I’ve asked God multiple times what’s he about with this. With now over a hundred million views and translations into hundreds of languages, I have heard the changing conversations about Jesus and so many testimonies of changed lives—lives moving from darkness to light, dread to hope.
With The Chosen having finished a powerful third season in February, something else happened—revival in a small college. In the dead of winter, students were coming together day after day, week after week for prayer and worship. A small Kentucky town was overwhelmed with thousands of visitors who wanted to see what was happening. What did they find? God on the move.
Just as we were hearing this news, another movie came out in February—Jesus Revolution. This time, it’s a production of a well-known company, Lionsgate, and with a well-known actor, Kelsey Grammer, of Cheers and Frasier fame. It also had a fun co-star—Jonathan Roumie, the now well-known actor of The Chosen series who plays none other than Jesus, himself. In Jesus Revolution, however, he’s a hippie turned Jesus freak who shakes things up in the dying church of Pastor Chuck Smith.
Not surprisingly, thousands of Boomers and even some younger folk have been flocking to see this film, because it brings back wonderful memories of earlier carefree days. What we all were surprised to find, however, was that it also stirred up our faith. There is no coincidence that the time in which the Jesus Movement was birthed is not so unlike our current day.
So, as I look outside my home today, writing this article, I’m smiling at the sunshine of a glorious spring day. It has come after a day of storms, winds, and darkness, but it has come. There is no day too dark for God to move, and moving he is. We just have to watch for the signs.
Grace and Peace
Carol B. Ghattas is a writer, speaker, and active blogger. Subscribe to her blog, lifeinexile.net, or follow her on Facebook or Instagram. Connect with her at lifeinexile.net.