Itís the first week of April and I'm traveling out of the foothills toward Red Bluff. The hills and valley are carpeted in lush, green grass. Splashes of tiny yellow blooms rest at the feet of grazing cattle and thousands of tiny leaves are emerging from the bare branches of the oak trees. Struggling to keep my eyes on the road, I can't help but stare at the passing landscape. Everything is so green. I admit I've had months to get used to the dry grass of summer yield to the new green foliage, but to see the stately oaks turn from brown to green made me do a double take. Where I live at 2800 feet elevation, the trees are barely budding and since I've haven't ventured off the hill in a couple of weeks, I wasn't aware of the miraculous change taking place in the lowlands. I love the winter, but this year, winter for me brought doubts and struggle. As I steer my SUV along the curvy road, I am reminded that the season of spring brings promise of renewed life and hope. God uses His creation to remind us that our time of wandering in the wilderness of trial lasts only for a season. After He uses these hard times to strengthen us and draw us to Him, then He brings spring back into our lives. Even though we are still in the midst of our trial, the evidence of spring surrounding me brings comfort and reminds me that what I'm going through won't last forever. I am further reminded of the flowers God has put in my life during this long winter. Flowers, in the form of the friends, have encouraged and prayed for me. I've had the leaves of spring color my winter days in the form of God's Word, daily bread to uplift, reprove, and remind me of God's unfailing love. Tender green grass, fragile yet powerful enough to overrun the brittle thorns can be compared to the Lamb of God. Humble and meek, He overcame death to free us from the bonds of sin. The brittle cold winds giving way to the comforting, cool breezes of spring, is like the Holy Spirit, our comforter and guide. Thank you, Lord, for allowing winter to reside in our lives for a season and for helping us to better appreciate the beautiful months of spring.