"Those who trust in their wealth are headed for great disappointment,
but those who do right will sprout like green leaves in the spring."
Spring doesn't last forever. Life isn't always full of cool breezes, bright sunshine, and new flowers. Instead, spring only comes after the winter. New life only follows after the old life has died. Green leaves come after the cold winds, after the trees have had to stand against the barren winter.
Too often, it seems people think the Christian life should be one of ease and comfort. We have the thought that God's promises mean that our reward starts here and now--our work should pay off and our every effort should be blessed. We even hear it preached--God wants us healthy, wealthy, and wise. It's the prosperity gospel in a nutshell.
Yes, we are promised new life--but that only comes after the old life has died. We are promised the spring, but that doesn't mean that we won't have to face the winter. Sometimes the circumstances of our lives become cold, harsh, and barren. We watch as everything dies around us: finances crumble, relationships become strained, dreams fade. The "winters" in our lives are hard, lonely times.
But we aren't alone in that. We are called to live a life modeled after Christ, so why are we surprised by the winter? Jesus faced a winter in His life that most of us can't even fathom. He was betrayed and abandoned by those closest to Him. He was beaten, mocked, and spit on. He faced the agony of the cross, even though He could have stopped the pain and suffering in a heartbeat. He was buried in a borrowed tomb--He didn't have a home of His own, let alone a burial place. He faced a winter so bleak that Creation was plunged into darkness in the middle of the day as a result.
Yet on the other side of His winter, Jesus found spring. His new life sprouted on the other side of death.
For some of us, our spring will start on this side of death. Some will get to see the end of the cold, harsh winter and the blooming of new lives. Some will see earthly prosperity and the wonder of dreams fulfilled. For others, spring may come like it did for Christ--on the other side of an earthly death. Either way, God's promise is the same.
...those who do right will sprout like green leaves in the spring.