Spring is here! It’s finally here! Trees are bursting with blossoms; perennial plants are reemerging, and everywhere you look things are starting to “green up.”

Plant lovers are shopping, and gardeners are itching to get their hands in the dirt. Nurseries are bursting at the seams with new plants and many of the big box stores offer large sections of seeds and living things that inspire even the most reluctant gardeners. There’s an excitement that accompanies this time of the year!

I’ve noticed it, and I’m sure that you have too, spring is somewhat like the morning time or New Year’s Day. In so many ways it offers a new beginning. No matter how many new sunrises you are given or how many New Year’s Days you’re blessed to ring in, there is just something hopeful about a fresh start.

Each year we sit down at the end of the gardening season and do an evaluation of what went well and what didn’t. I enjoy trying to grow at least one new thing every year, so it’s fun to see if it will be a “keeper” or if it was just a one-time thing. We assess the harvest and the pantry and scribble down a few notes about what we need to grow more of the following year and what we have plenty of.

As the long winter months slowly creep by, I occasionally review my notes and flip through a few dreamy gardening magazines. I look forward to the next growing season and the possibilities it offers. I understand that in order to have a productive garden, there is a lot of work involved, but sometimes it’s more fun to think about it than to actually do it.

In the off-season it’s good to rest and enjoy the bounty of your harvest. However, when it’s time to get going, you need to have a solid plan, a good mindset and an opportunity. That’s what spring offers—a fresh start. I’ve heard it said that to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. Dropping a little seed into the soil is hope in action.

Fyodor Dostoevsky once said, “Totally without hope one cannot live. To live without hope is to cease to live. Hell is hopelessness. It is no accident that above the entrance to Dante’s hell is the inscription: ‘Leave behind all hope, you who enter here.’”

As humans, we can offer others a meal or teach people the skills to grow gardens to feed themselves. We can share words of encouragement and create opportunities. However, we cannot offer people the promise of a new day or of a new year. Only God can do that. Just as spring brings us out of the winter darkness, the Gospel brings lives out of eternal darkness.

As Christians, we should be as eager to share the Gospel with those who are experiencing hopelessness around us as a gardener is to get their hands in the dirt. Dropping the seeds of the Word of God into the hearts of those who are lost is hope in action.

In Matt. 28:19-20, Jesus says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

According to my good friend Tarvoris Uzoigwe, “The one thing that we will not be able to do in heaven is evangelize.” While we are on earth, now is the time to offer hope!

Everywhere we look there is darkness and dread, but if you are a Christian, within your hands you hold the Good News. As you celebrate the first day of spring, take a few minutes to think about ways that you can offer hope and a fresh start to someone else. Be hope in action.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in him” (Lam. 3:22-23).


Photo by Leonardo Wong on Unsplash