The snow hasn’t even completely melted away yet, but the temperatures have gone up a bit and life awakens in the woods. It’s a virtual resurrection. Once again the heron swoops down to the lake, a skinny bear comes out of hibernation and is looking for food, and a snapping turtle crosses the path. The first few flowers such as coltsfoots and daffodils break through the ground and attract our attention with their bright yellow blossoms. And the utter silence of the snow-covered winter woods has completely vanished: every night there is quite the noisy racket going on around ponds, lakes, swamps and bogs. It’s a chirping chorus that goes on and on and sounds like a mixture of crickets and chicks having a shouting contest.
This free concert is brought to us courtesy of the spring peeper (or more likely a few hundred of them). These are tiny frogs that are only 2.5 - 4cms long and weigh between 3 and 5 grams. The males have a vocal sac that they can inflate, and as the air escapes out of this balloon under their mouths, it makes a high pitched sound. It’s the mating call of these frogs, a one-note love song that is repeated about 40-50 times a minute. This symphony is a sure sign of spring and the reason for the name of this frog.
On their backs these frogs have the marking of a cross, and therefore their scientific name is Pseudacris crucifer, which literally means “cross-bearing false locust”: a perfect description of their cross-like markings and cricket-like musical abilities. These frogs appear so early in the year that they sometimes freeze. But their blood chemistry is designed in such a way that they can stay alive up to a week in a frozen state and then thaw out and continue to hop around and sing their love song. They are a model of the resurrection life.
As Christians we too are resurrected “cross-bearers” modelling the new life Christ has given us. The mark of discipleship according to Jesus is cross-bearing: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mt.16:24). And in a very real way we have been crucified with Christ and therefore we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. The life we now live in the body, we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us. The Amplified version expresses this truth of Gal.2:20 this way: “I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
On that basis we live our lives and sing the love song that Christ has put in our hearts. The deep freeze of spiritual winter is over. Resurrection life is real. A new creation is budding. Love is in the air. It’s time to sing our song again and again.
Paul puts it this way in 2.Cor.5:14-20: “Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
We are a pastoral couple named Stefan & Heidi König. We have many years of experience in various ministries, and are thankful that God has given us this property to use as a way to bless others who need a place to relax and reconnect with Him.
Kingfisher Spiritual Direction
Direct your heart to Jesus and restore your soul. If you need to hear from God, to grow deeper with Him, consider spiritual direction. An ancient discipline of soul care, Heidi is trained to prayerfully lead you in this practice.