My times are in Your hands…

(Psalm 31:15, BSB)

Each year, as the sap is just beginning its long journey out to the tips of all the towering maple branches, when there is not yet the slightest hint of any green leaf springing from any deciduous tree, the alders are already undergoing a transformation…

A close up of an alder catkin opening at RivenJoiner.com.
this is what an alder looks like when it blooms!

All winter long, the bare alder branches have snaked through the boggy low spots beyond the forest edge, dangling unassuming brown tassels that dance in the wind. They look like something left behind, the dead and dried remnants of last year’s activities, ready to fade away into dust once more.

He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”…

(Ezekiel 37:3, NIV)
A close up of an alder catkin opening at RivenJoiner.com.

…I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

(Ezekiel 37:3, NIV)

But at the hint of spring, when the nights are still freezing but the days grow warm, the little brown shells first begin to soften, and then suddenly burst open in a show of shimmery maroon and lemon yellow! 

A close up of an alder catkin opening at RivenJoiner.com.

I look forward to this transformation every year. It’s such a beautiful illustration of some of God’s most precious promises. You see, they’re one of the very earliest blossoms…

Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you will know that He is near, right at the door.

(Matthew 24:32-33, BSB)

They burst open from what looks like a dead shell…

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

(2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV)

And they are a perfectly-timed, essential food source for the honeybees as they venture out after winter!

The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in season.

(Psalm 145:15, BSB)

A reminder of God’s hope that rises as certainly as the summer follows the early buds, His beauty in the most unexpected places, His tender provision for all His creatures, and His perfect timing in all His seasons!

Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. 

(2 Peter 3:8-9, BSB)

by Sydney Michalski

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