Good morning from Westminster, MD!
As we landed in Maryland on Friday evening, the difference between the weather in Nicaragua and Maryland was very evident. In Nicaragua, April is the hottest and driest time of the year. A very green and tropical place becomes very brown and almost desert-like in some areas. In Maryland, however, April is a time for rain and flowers. As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”. This was very clear as we arrived on Friday. A place that was mostly brown and “dead” when we left in March had become green and alive. The rains of April had produced renewal. The same will be true in Nicaragua when the rains arrive later this month.
The contrast between Nicaragua and Maryland in April reminded me that God is a God of renewal and new growth. At various points in my life I have felt dry and dead only to be refreshed by the grace of God. Through this refreshing I have been brought to a new place of growth and life. In Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth he wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV) Just like the earth, we have an opportunity to become renewed. We have the chance to go from a place of death to a place of life. While this truth certainly applies to the moment when we start a relationship with Christ, it also applies to the “desert times” we still experience as Christ followers. God is in the renewal business and desires to produce new life in us. Much like He produces new life when the rains hit the dry earth, He can create new life in us when we are at our driest points. This has been true in my life and I believe it can be true in yours.
– James Belt