This year we adopted Renew as our theme. And this spring is abounding with proof that the Master Gardener loves this theme too.
Buds are not just the promise of revival, they are the beginning of it.
Revival at its origin means, “return to consciousness; restore to health; to live again,” similar to renew, “again to make new.”
If you’re praying for conspicuous and sudden change, you may actually be sleeping right through it.
Often the way we pray and sing about revival is akin to asking for a man in a coma to leap out of his hospital bed. We want to see instant and dramatic recovery, but this keeps us from celebrating the miracle and beauty of his first blink and twitch and grimace on the road to healing.
Every spring the rain and storms bring revival before our very eyes. It isn’t the sudden appearance of a massive oak tree or a fully developed bed of tulips in your front yard. Rather, it’s the roots spearing down and a tender shoot budding out of the earth. It’s the flower pressing up through the dirt and delighting us with new growth each day. Renewal comes because of the faithfulness of the dew by night and the sun by morning, because someone cares enough to cultivate and sweat over the ground.
Revival is a process that starts in the little things. To live starts with breathing, crying, crawling, toddling… To live again starts in much the same way, with the breath of God, with tear-stained bible pages, calloused knees from the grooves of earnest prayer, and with those wobbly first few steps of faith.
If you are in Christ, the Holy Spirit is dwelling within you and renewal is happening. Let it. In his psalm foreshadowing the grief and affliction of our Savior, David concludes with joy proclaiming, “You who seek God, let your heart revive” (Psalm 69:32). Paul reminds the Corinthian church that we are being “renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
A world free is on its way, and we have the ultimate Gardener tending to its soil. Look around this spring. Marvel at the little signs of growth on your own journey.
Do not lose heart. Rather, let it revive.