I woke one April morning to the gentle rays of the sun on my face, whispering wordless greetings as only the sun can do. My window was open, and a breeze stirred in the curtains. It was one of the year’s first spring mornings: a quiet glory and deep joy. I whispered back to it as I rolled out of bed. Bless the day. Bless the God who made it.
Winter was cold this year, and dreadfully long. Through the dragging days of January I waited for spring with a yearning I don’t remember feeling before. The change in seasons came slowly, breaking over the land with subtly lengthening days, warm winds, and rainfall. But it came. And as I never quite grow accustomed to spring, I rose every morning of the season with thanks for it.
Spring is an especially holy season, because the goodness of God is manifested in it. "Manifest" is a wonderful old word: it means "to reveal; show; display." In Lystra, the apostle Paul spoke to the Gentiles about the God they thought they didn’t know: "He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17).
Goodness is not always easy to define. What does it mean that God is "good"? Goodness is far more than a lack of evil. It’s creative and powerful. The warmth of the sun is a revelation of God’s goodness. New life, full stomachs, and feelings of well-being and optimism: these manifest the goodness of God. Gentle rains, cool air, delicate flowers: these blessings are not mere scientific phenomena. They are God’s goodness in a form we can all understand. Goodness in a form we can touch, smell, see, and hear.
As a woman, I want to show God’s goodness just as spring does. When the Lord redeemed me and made His child, He also called me to walk out His beauty. I’m not called to do good works because they will earn me favor or make me holy, but because the good things I do may allow others to touch, smell, see, and hear the reality of God.
A Life of Hidden Things
In Scripture, God often compares His people to a vineyard or garden. When I consider how much time the average gardener invests in his garden, I’m honored and awestruck by this comparison. I am a garden which God has purchased with His own blood, and He has never ceased to treasure or invest in me. Every nuance and circumstance of my life has a place in His plans. He is planting hidden things in me so that they may one day bloom.
When we think of doing "good works," we naturally put pressure on ourselves to get out there and make things happen. However, truly good works are not about human actions and efforts. Good works come from God’s planting in us, and they’re designed to reveal His goodness.
Spring is all about revealing hidden things. Throughout the winter, seeds lay dormant. In spring, they answer the call of the sun and burst forth. Animals sleep as though dead; now they awaken to life again. Within days, land that was empty and covered with snow is green and pulsing with life.
My life with God is full of such secrets. Since the day I began to walk with Him, God has been busy planting seeds in my heart. As I read and meditate on His word, its truth sends roots deep into my soul. In circumstances and relationships, the Father tills the soil of my heart and plants His seeds there. Seeds of affection. Seeds of understanding. Seeds of skill, knowledge, and love.
True fruit grows out of a deep-rooted relationship with the Father. In every circumstance, God is actively working the soil of my life. He has His own secrets for me to reveal. Even in the winter days, He is preparing me for spring. When the opportunity comes, the hidden things He has given me may touch someone else, opening their eyes to the truth that God is alive, God is working, and God is good.
A Fruitful Life
Paul once wrote to women not to adorn themselves with flashy clothing that would draw attention to their physical beauty, but to dress themselves every morning in good works (see 1 Tim. 2:9-10). This isn’t for my sake, but for His! My concern shouldn’t be so much with my own glory, but with the glory of the God who made me.
When God urges me to be clothed in good works, He isn’t pointing to an approved list of activities which will make me godly—work at the soup kitchen, read my Bible, lead a prayer group, sing in the choir. Instead, He’s urging me to let the goodness He has shown me flow out to others. He’s telling me to be His spring: to let all the seeds He’s planted in my heart grow and show others how good He is.
This isn’t about programs at all. I can show God’s goodness when I hug a crying child. I can show it by relieving a tired mother. His kindness is made manifest when I listen to an outcast. His wisdom is shown when I share the words of the Bible with someone who needs truth. These works needn’t exhaust me or impress others. They need only show God’s goodness by bringing some warmth, some comfort, and some love into places that have been cold and barren. And I can only give these things because God has first given them to me.
As a woman, I’m especially called to good works that are wrapped up in relationships. In the career world, goals and accomplishments reign supreme. But women weren’t made to collect trophies and garner awards. We’ve been relationally centered right from the beginning. Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, but Eve was taken from the body of man. Women were created in the cradle of love and relationship.
That’s a marvelous heritage. I was created to nurture, to love, to support, to help. A woman in right relationship to God and others is a marvelous testimony to the greatness and gentleness of the Lord. She brings glory to God and strength to those around her. I want to live that sort of life: one that is truly green and growing with the hidden things of God made manifest.
Burst Forth Into Spring
God has abundantly blessed my life. I can feel His goodness in the warmth of the sun and see it in the blueness of the sky. It is manifested to me most fully in my salvation, for God’s own Son has given His life to secure mine. I know His goodness in His laws and moral standards, which make life holy, right, and joyous.
As God has done so much for me, I want to live a life full of good works that will show His goodness to others. God has planted specific seeds in my heart. He does not mean them to remain dormant, but to burst forth into spring. Through the fruit I bear, I can show others what has become so real to me: that God is really, truly, deeply good.
This is my calling, and yours also. To show the world who God is through the simplest of good works and words—to live out the goodness of God as spring does.