If you live in Madison Wisconsin you may need to be told this to know it. There are still snow piles in the shade and the grass is only starting to turn green. It takes some faith to believe that flowers, chartreuse leaf buds and warm weather are on their way. If you have been around for a few decades of spring in Wisconsin, you can look to your past experience to encourage yourself. You may remember previous sinking feelings that this will indeed be the first year that it will be winter for the whole 12 months of the year. But, you remember that every year so far, the day finally came that you woke up and there were suddenly flowers and fresh smells and little leaf buds in the trees.
Right now you need a trained eye to find signs of spring. If you know where spring bulbs are planted, you can find pointed little leaves pushing through the cold ground. This year those little points came pushing through cold ground and snow! For me, this is the first sign of hope that spring will come again. And I actively encourage myself by looking for those little points of green.
For those of us who celebrate Easter, spring is an important part of the hope of Easter. It is the hope that comes after a dark time. The hope of new beginnings. And it is faith that brings hope. Hebrews 11:1 is one of my favorite scriptures. The New King James Version puts it in these words:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. –Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
Over 20 years ago I stepped out in faith to begin working in the direction of a vision for an intergenerational neighborhood that combats loneliness and helps young and old enjoy, love and provide a safety net for each other. We have part of our neighborhood and many people, young and old have already been helped. We are still working to build the final and biggest phase of this neighborhood. Our property was annexed in March, we are now genuinely in the city of Madison. We now have a new address. Hope & A Future is now 1115 S. High Point Road. Same place, new address. We have a year for everyone to get used to this new address. Same place, new season! The start of something fresh and new. Annexing from the Town of Middleton into Madison was a needed step for moving forward with the next phase. There are many more steps to go, some may be in mud, but early bulbs have begun to push through the cold and snow! And Hope & A Future has faith for the substance of things hoped for! We are moving into a new season.
Another favorite Bible verse of mine:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jeremiah 29:11
It is yet another new season for new beginnings!