As I was out with my children yesterday, I noticed the trees in bud along the road beginning to blossom. Half-open pinks and whites heralded the awakening of spring and new life. Joy and beauty bloomed before my eyes.

But my heart wasn’t ready to see it.

With a pang I thought, “No! Not yet! It’s not time!”

The reaction startled me. Every winter I long for spring and I rejoice with the green and gold and dappled things. But it’s mid-February—these things are out of season. And my heart is grieving.

Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound. Proverbs 25:20, NLT

The griefs I carry are not my own, but I carry them nonetheless. The death of a baby before birth. The loss of a spouse in the prime of life. A safe haven becoming a terror zone. A debilitating illness.

My heart is heavy, and I want to sit in this season of grief, interceding for those who are suffering the brunt of these losses.

I want to sit here, but nature will not sit with me. The flowers bloom, the birds sing, the earth turns. Life moves on.

These beautiful things may appear out of season to me, but they are still reminders of God’s faithfulness to His promises.

Thus says the Lord: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time, then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken… Jeremiah 33:20-21a

The beauty that once made my heart to leap now brings a deep ache, but it still points me to Jesus. These griefs borne outside their time are touched by truths that are timeless.

 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 as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in 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.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:18-28

Groaning. Waiting. Hoping.

He will make all things new.

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