©2002 by Jeff Dugan
Not much joy here, huh? A snow-covered landscape, nearly barren except for a few trees, all shrouded in mist. Have you ever experienced life like this, cold, dreary, gray, and alone? I doubt that it ever snowed in Babylon, but surely the emotional content of this scene would have been familiar to the captive Israelites.
But look closer, and you’ll see the first sprigs of grass peeking up through the snow. The church in the distance is shrouded in fog, but even so, the trees in the foreground echo its spires and inspire faith despite the gloom. The trees are not just any trees, but evergreens, which speak of perseverance against the cold and darkness, and eventual triumph over it.
Most significantly, these green symbols of persistent faith envelop a country crucifix, and a crippled wanderer has abandoned his crutches and seeks there the hope that is expressed by the rest of the landscape. This wanderer has been through the bleak landscape of separation from hope, but now experiences the joy of that hope’s rebirth. A new world is being created in the landscape around him – and in his heart.
And if we place our hope in God’s redemptive power, a new world is ours as well.
Have you walked too far in barrenness and cold? Today I invite you to warm yourself in the love of Him who makes all things new.
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