McDowell Technical Community College

Pause…and Consider

Beneath the surface

By Ken and Jan Merop

Avery County

Throughout the winter months, I would find myself looking at the areas that would be in bloom come spring.

Everything was dormant the first fall/winter/spring when we first moved to the North Carolina mountains.  So, I had no idea what was beneath the surface.  In fact, I didn’t know anything was beneath the surface. The stick-like bushes certainly weren’t pretty…yet Hydrangea and Flame Azaleas were waiting their turn to wow us…along with other varieties.  I couldn’t imagine what their buds held.

But, now I can picture the colorful array of perennials that are preparing to bloom.  And I can’t wait to see if the bulbs we planted in a newly formed rock garden last fall will indeed burst forth and brighten the landscape in spring and summer.

Life is like the seasons.

We experience the gloom of long winter nights when sickness or even death knock at the door of family or friends.  Yet, in the midst of the cold realities of life, gentle snow falls from heaven’s storehouse and blankets the world in winter white.

The purity of the glistening snow refreshes and restores a measure of hope.  Other days we breathe in the refreshing cold air accompanied by bright sunshine and take a walk knowing these days will pass, too.  These are the days of prayer, friendship and caring.

At last, what we’ve been waiting for arrives.  The winter of our sorrow passes and we move forward with expectancy into what God has for us as April and May begin to bud.  We hold onto the hope that a spring snowstorm won’t freeze the beauty we’ve longed for.  Sometimes it does, though.  Then we summon more faith that we’ll bask in the sunshine of spring and summer and the bloom of better health in the days ahead.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 2, 4, NLT reminds us, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.  A time to be born and a time to die.  A time to plant and a time to harvest…a time to cry and a time to laugh.  A time to grieve and a time to dance.”

Expect the God of Creation and Lover of our souls to be present in every season because “God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart.” (vs.11).

He is beneath the surface (as well as above and around) causing us to bloom where we are planted.  And dance!  Selah


Frosty Covering

The quiet expectation alive within the snowy atmosphere

was an invitation for us to walk slowly under its canopy.

As we inhaled the clean mountain air and

observed the delicate etchings of the snow’s designs,

we luxuriated in the artistry of our Creator’s hand.

“All things were created through Him and for Him.

And He is before all things, and in Him

all things consist.”

Colossians 1: 16 & 17