Birds twittered and trilled, perched on the flimsy branches of the poplars. The brook had swelled with melting snow from our property, gushing from the culvert and eventually creating a quiet pool under the shade of a few trees. I felt like I could soar to the treetops and sing with the birds as I went skipping down the driveway. Spring was in the air, and then summer would come. There was no limit to my excitement; what would the summer hold? I didn't know, but I wished that I did.
If I could have gone forward in time, I would have experienced mixed feelings over the summer of 2009. I would have seen myself tenderly caring for a sweet little bird, fallen far from the nest. Yet later I would witness the cruel results of sin as I pitied an injured creature, dying. I would witness ten beautiful baptisms bringing inspiration and encouragement to my heart. Yet I would feel frustration and worry over the life of a friend. I would experience joy never felt before, yet feel sorrow to see others filled with hate. Our family would travel to an old country farmhouse for a family reunion - little did I know that it would be the last one. My brother and I would puzzle over a mysterious "bear" and run for our lives when we ended up in a swarm of angry yellow jackets. I would have to let go of some friends that were bringing me down, but with joy I made new friends that are very dear to me. My heart would soar to the sky as I hiked up in the White Mountains and I would learn many valuable lessons that I never wanted to forget. Even though my heart would be filled with joy, I would still experience the pain of sin.
That is why God doesn't always show us the future. How easily I could have gotten discouraged if I had seen all the trials ahead! But what would trust and faith be if there was never any uncertainty, any trial, or any situation where we couldn't exercise them?
Here I am, a year later from that spring day. I have learned much, and that is partly because I didn't know. I would have lost half of the lessons I learned if I had known in advance exactly how situations would turn out and what I had to face. I learned more about myself - how I naturally reacted to certain situations - and I learned more about God - and His grace. My faith in Him has been strengthened because no matter what happened, God never failed me, and I could say that from experience.
My future holds a lot of blanks right now, but I don't need to know what the next summer holds - or the next for that matter. I am happy to live each day with the knowledge that God is in control, no matter what happens. As the time passes, and I experience the winds of change, I know that God will strengthen me to face whatever the future holds....