As soon as I read the title, Searching For Spring, I knew this book was written for me. And I was right.
This book is also for you. We all have unfulfilled longings and questions in this life. Every single one of us. And we will never find hope unless we’re willing to hunt for the beauty God has placed in the unexpected and ordinary.
Using Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 as a chapter outline, author Christine Hoover takes us on a high-sensory journey through the four seasons, pointing out how God makes all things beautiful in time.
Summer . . .
Warmth, health, beauty. Summer is our reminder that God is at work even when we can’t see Him. We must be “perpetual seekers in a cosmic game of Hide and Seek” to find despair-defying hope in the midst of pain in a marred world.
Just because we can’t see how God has made and is making all things beautiful doesn’t mean it’s not true. It just means we must know where to look and where to listen. (p. 16)
Fall . . .
A season of changes—some of it beautiful, like the turning of the leaves each year; some of it not so agreeable, like the foreboding indications of the season to come that taints the beauty around us. Yet even as signs of vitality begin to fade, we’re blessed with an unexpected display of God’s artistic ability like none other. Will we choose to focus on the beauty of our current season or on the inconsolable things of life?
We cannot expect to change what Jesus has left unfixed for the moment. (p. 55)
Winter . . .
That dreaded, barren season of frozen dreams and sunless days that drags on endlessly. We wonder when relief will come? When we’ll feel the warmth of the Son again? If our hearts will ever thaw?
Christine spends the bulk of her book addressing this season of waiting, when the horizon looks dim and the song in our heart is silenced. But as she beautifully depicts, the Master Composer is still at work. He is with you.
Even in the midst of horrendous suffering, God never leaves, never shames, and never is sidetracked from his goal of bringing redemptive beauty. (p 89)
As Christine describes in her seven chapters on “Winter,” we see God for who He really is when we lift up our eyes and shift our focus off ourselves and to the beauty of our Creator:
- The Potter — the One who shapes and fashions us from conception to resurrection and every moment in between.
- The Composer — the One who orchestrates our lives and leads in song those who tune their hearts to His Spirit.
- The Betrothed — the One who prepares a place for His beautiful waiting bride.
- The Artist — the One who weaves grace into our story and paints beauty into our lives, reminding us that we too are creatives with a story to tell.
- The Author — the One who loves us in our weakness and writes us into His redemption story.
- The Joy-Whisperer — the One who infuses joy into our weary hearts if we will only silence the noise and distraction long enough to hear His gentle voice.
- The Pattern — the One who showed us how cultivating beauty is an act of worship and a love offering to our Creator.
In all of this, of course, the inconsolable things are still there. After all, we still live in a sin-cursed world. The pain and “how long?” inquiries don’t just go away. Even so, “winter, though barren with inconsolable things, is not death but merely dormancy.” (p. 203) That’s because . . .
Spring is Coming . . .
When we fill our frame with God’s goodness and faithfulness, a glimmer of hope begins to take root. “This hope fuels us, enables us, settles us, and also produces a beautiful faith in us in the process of waiting.” (p. 120)
After eleven chapters of offering comfort and truth for the downtrodden and discouraged, the book crescendos into the final “chapter” of time—the time, as Ecclesiastes says, when God will make all things beautiful!
This present life isn’t all there is. One day “the former things shall not be remembered” (Isa. 65:17) and Jesus will make all things new! (Rev. 21:5) And until then we fight for faith. We love. We create. We worship.
If ever there was a time in my life I need to read Searching For Spring, this was it. My copy is underlined, marked up, and tear-stained. The inconsolable longings; the barrenness of winter; the ache for purpose in this life—these are deep, heavy emotions I’m all too familiar with. But Christine’s words pointed me back to the Creator of all things beautiful and good.
Life is messy and painful. But even in the barrenness of winter, God is alive and at work. He is here with you, with me, and He is good and loving and kind.
And He cares. He doesn’t just care for his other children—He cares for you and He cares for me! He is near. Will we quiet our hearts long enough to hear His whisper of joy? Will we pause to see the signs of spring that are budding right in front of us?
I received this book from Baker Books in exchange for this honest review.