Here is a recent photo of the tree (or two trees) of my fascination because of the depiction of marriage that I see in it (them).
Just a few short months ago, the trees appeared devoid of life as they weathered the winter and days of intense fog.
Like the trees, every marriage goes through difficult seasons at some point - financial problems, car breakdowns, communication issues; and sometimes marriages are subjected to things that feel more like a lightening strike...trials that are harder than "normal" issues. A lightening strike may be a horrific blow like infidelity, the death of a child, or maybe a serious illness.
When those times come (and they will), a marriage may appear to be devoid of life and the only thing that holds a couple together is a decision...a decision that no matter how hard it gets, they will weather the storm together and come out on the other side. They decide to look to the One Who knows their story already - they trust in Him and cling together.
Now that spring has arrived, the trees are full of life. They have survived the winter's siege and lived through that harsh season; and with spring, buds appeared on the lifeless limbs - signs of hope - that became rich foliage. The spring rains seem to wash away the effects of the winter and coax the tree into a productive state once again. Only God knows what lies ahead for these trees - but the choice was made long ago for the two to become one and remain one until death parts them.
However, just because winter is past, doesn't mean the trees are safe. Danger still abounds. Storms, hail, and tornadoes openly threaten the trees but there are other dangers that quietly seek to destroy them and their union. There are insects and diseases that can destroy, as well as vines like poison ivy and bind weed that can kill the trees or seriously affect their health if not tended to. For married couples, dangers exist even when the season is seemingly calm and carefree. Addictions, complacency, and things that separate us from God and each other take a toll on relationships. Like killing bugs and weeds around the trees, we must be actively working to eliminate things that threaten our marriages.
While sounding the alarm about dangers, I recognize that we should count our blessings and joyfully experience spring when it comes. Praise and thank God for the sweet seasons in your life and look to Him. Dig into the truth of His Word and take it to heart. Enjoy spring.
Deuteronomy 11:13-15 “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied."