“And it came to pass that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” – Numbers 17:8
We live very near the central part of California called the “bread basket.” This time of year, as you travel the back roads and highways, you’ll see rows and rows of produce showing the first signs of growth. One of the most beautiful manifestations of this is the plethora of fruit and nut trees. This is because of the heralding blossoms of pink and white. Forty-two percent of the world’s almonds are grown and produced here. Almonds are not really nuts but the seeds from a fruit that looks very much like a peach. They are perhaps my favorite “non-nut,” and I usually keep a container on my counter so I can pop a few in my mouth from time to time. But it’s the blossoms that I want to take note of today, and the thoughts of springtime that they conjure up in our minds.
Just as there are seasons of life (Eccl. 3:1), there are seasons of the soul, I think. There is summer, when we toil in the heat of day; fall, when we ponder our own mortality; winter, when we seem to withdraw within ourselves and hibernate; and spring, when we “wake up,” as it were, with anticipation and exuberance. These seem to repeat themselves in our Christian lives, but would we not all love to live in perpetual springtime? Of course, that wouldn’t be life, but I wonder if we provide the right conditions, we wouldn’t see springtime in the soul more often.
For instance, a blooming plant has a root (Isa. 27:6; Matt. 13:6). That’s a given. Things that aren’t alive don’t blossom or grow. And neither do people. But even trees that are alive may not blossom and fruit every year. There are things conducive to blooming. It helps to be planted in a good place; and as Psalm 92:13 says, “Those that are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.” Then you need light (Psl. 119:05); water (Eph. 5:26; and warmth (Jer. 23:29a). Unless the Word of God is a regular staple in your life, don’t expect anything but a withering soul. There needs to be some pruning, too (Jno. 15:2) We have to be willing for God to cut away those things in our lives that keep us from budding and blossoming, if we ever want to bring forth fruit to His glory.
Springtime is a joyful time, like a new beginning. Isaiah 35:2, speaking of the desert, says: “It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing…” It looks like spring where I live, and there are blossoms everywhere, and some of them will bring forth fruit. But this spring, like every spring, will evolve into a hot, dry summer followed by the time of falling leaves and rain, then hibernation and chilling winds. Oh, but the joy of the Lord in my heart can blossom long after outward conditions have deteriorated! When your springtime goes all the way down into your soul, you can say with the prophet:
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom; neither shall the fruit be in the vines…Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Hab. 3:17)