Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. The cold weather begins to retreat, the rains come, the flowers begin to bloom, the birds return and sing their songs of worship encouraging growth. Can I tell you?: “Spiritually, spring is in the air”!

We are in a season of transformation and change. Many people describe the last 18 months to 3 years as a dark time, a winter-time, a time when things didn’t go the way we expected and what seemed so fruitful looked like it died. But spring is in the air. Hope is arising in hearts and the church is looking for new life to arise.

In John 15 Jesus tells us that as we stay close to Him, abiding in His presence, that the Father will be faithful to prune our lives. A good gardener knows how much pruning different plants can handle. Some are cut back to only the stalk. Some just have extra branches removed. Different people in different seasons require different pruning. The same goes for churches.

Some of us feel like everything was cut back and wonder if we will ever bear fruit again. Other’s felt a pinch, but not a lot changed. Either way, the purpose is so that we would bear more fruit. A gardener prunes the plant so it doesn’t waste its energy on growth for growth’s sake — the energy becomes refocused on fruit.

Jesus told us, “You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to bear much fruit, fruit that will remain.” (paraphrase of John 15:16) It may have felt like things died in the last season, but new growth is beginning. Spring is in the air!

“My beloved speaks and says to me:
Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.”
—Song of Songs 2:10–13

God is awakening hope in this season. The promises are starting to bud and the beginning of what is coming has begun to appear. Faith is rising and hearts are coming alive.

Transformation always starts in seeming growth but ends up looking dead until the process is complete. Then, as if it bursts forth, what was hidden comes forth. Resurrection life collides with dead dreams and disappointed hope. What began small, what looked like just a bud, suddenly changes and the next day the tree is full of blooms spreading the fragrance of the Lord until the whole atmosphere is changed.

I am excited to come to New Zealand in July, because I know that spiritually, spring is in the air. The promises of God that looked delayed are springing forth quickly and the eye of the Lord is looking south. It is time! Arise, shine, hope again, faith be restored, and hear the voice of your Beloved calling you to come away into the promise!

John ThomasJohn is Director of Training for Streams Ministries International in Texas, is a gifted teacher and dream interpreter.  He’s in NZ from 7 July to 25 July 2016 and will be co-hosting a Dream Lab, and co-teaching the Art of Hearing God course in July (click here to register).

Check out this video to see John Paul Jackson interviewing John, who he considered a spiritual son.  You can find out more about John here