Heard at Café: 4/4/2017

Spring was in full force this week at Café as we had Coffee Hour in the front yard, decorated the tables with flowers, and hyped up the Spring Retreat (April 7-9, ahh!). Some interns gave the talk this week, and had some things to say about springtime as well.
As the seasons change - as dark, wintry times give way to brighter, warmer, sunshine-ier days - we are reminded that hard times end with the promise of better days to come. Much like the Israelites of the Old Testament, sometimes we wonder if all the troubles we face will ever come to an end. We are promised good things by the God we believe in, but more often than not these promises feel like they will never come to fruition. Thankfully, we have prophets like Isaiah who give words of encouragement when the easiest thing to feel is despair.
Isaiah 55: 10-13
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”
There is a Hebrew word that echoes these sentiments: "shalom", meaning peace/harmony/wholeness. We all have moments when the idea of "shalom" seems like an unattainable feeling, but God promises that the world will be restored to the way God intended. The interns each gave examples of times when they were struggling with this idea, and how they've had people in their life give them hope and help them think through what it means to feel whole. It's reassuring to know that we're always on our way, and that we can surround ourselves with people who will remind us of spring when the winter seems to last forever.

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