Despite the fact that snow is once again falling outside, it was 50 degrees yesterday and the tease of warm weather made it feel like spring is truly just around the corner. The warm sunny day allowed us to take a nice walk outside with our pup and the fresh air was wonderful. Both my husband and I were fighting small colds this week and decided to use our “spring” weather as an inspiration for some premature spring cleaning. We spent the morning cleaning our home and even decided it was time to hang the spring wreath up on our front door. After a few hours of hard work, the house is spotless and ready for spring, even if the cold snowy weather reminds us that winter is not quite through with us yet.
This winter has been the coldest and snowiest we have had in several years and it is starting to take its toll on everyone. Where the snow used to appear magical and glistening it now looks bleak and dreary. The cold temperatures that we use for an excuse to cuddle up with a nice cup of hot cocoa and a warm blanket are now just a way of keeping us indoors as we longingly wait for sunny days again. We are just about desperate for spring to arrive and taking part in some early spring cleaning made it feel like we were closer to those warm days and April showers that we know will eventually come our way.
As we clean out our homes and prepare ourselves for spring, it occurred to me that this being the Lenten season, is it not also the perfect time to clean out our hearts? During Lent we wait in our own sort of winter. We know that Easter Sunday and the celebration of the Resurrection are ahead, but first we have to go through the season of Lent. We fast, we pray, we help others, we clean out our hearts for the Lord.
“A clean heart create for me God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” Psalm 51:12
When the winter weather seems like it has gone on forever, we turn our thoughts towards spring. We move our focus to the sunny days ahead. We dream of blossoming tulips and chirping birds. We clean out our homes to prepare for the start of a new exciting season. Just as the long winter months can drag us down, sometimes we face moments in life that weigh on us and try to crush our spirits.
When we feel the weight of the world pulling us down, we need to turn our focus to what lies ahead. We need to think instead on the love of Christ and the hope we have in Him. We pray for God to create clean hearts within us. We ask Him to clear out the dreariness, the worries, the troubles that we face. We ask God to fill our hearts with the steadfast spirit that is filled not with dreary long winter days but that is alive with the faith and hope of the spring that is coming!
Jesus has risen from the dead! He has conquered death and saved us from sin so that we may be with Him forever in His kingdom! As we go forward this Lent and remember the sacrifice our Lord made for us, let us also remember that the love of God fills us with hope and joy even in the midst of a seemingly endless winter. No matter what trials we face, even when all seems bleak and hope seems lost, we know that spring is coming. As we put away winter boots and clean out our homes for spring, let us pray that this season of Lent we will spend time with The Lord and allow Him to create clean hearts within us that are filled with the hope and joy of the Risen Christ.