The most peculiar of smells permeates the air outside of my house right now. The smell of tree sap. Right now here in Southeastern North Carolina we are getting our fair share of ice. The trees are groaning under the weight of ice and the swamp behind the house sounds as though a fire fight is taking place with a steady sound of gun shots. Yet, no guns are being fired. It is the sound of limbs and trees breaking. I felt I needed to move my truck lest a rather large bending limb fall and crush it. This required going out into the ice. But the beauty of the ice and the sounds of the swamp kept me outside for a while.
As the ground is beginning to be covered in white ice and the trees all around have a beautiful ice pink color those of us who rarely get ice and snow cannot help but spend a while gazing upon their splendor. But, the longer I looked the more I heard. The smell of tree sap and sound of breaking limbs. It doesn’t take long between the gunshotesque sounds of the trees to be able to watch the limbs fall and even see squirrels scurry for their lives to realize this beauty isn’t all that beautiful. It has put thousands without electricity, including my own home for a brief time. There will be mess to clean up for days and the storm isn’t even over yet.
Standing there in the snow I was reminded that this beauty is certainly fleeting and not quite as beautiful as it seems. I was reminded yet again that things aren’t all aright in the world. This earth is falling and the trees today echo its groaning for things to be made aright. Sin though beautiful at first isn’t worth treasuring. Its weight we like the trees cannot bare shy of its consequences. Like Lewis’ Winter Narnia it seems to never end. But, for this world and all who have placed their trust in Christ a spring is coming.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly aswe wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Forin this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:18-25, ESV)
Until the ice melts so to speak, I hope and wait in patience for the return of King Jesus whose reign shall be seen far as the curse is found.