Sunday, May 8, 2022

Springing into a New Day

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

After twenty-seven years, he walked out as a free man. 

Nelson Mandela became the president of the African National Council in 1952. The ANC embodied South Africa’s nationalized resistance movement against apartheid—the institutionalized system of white supremacy and racial segregation. 

In 1961, authorities arrested him for treason. Acquittal followed soon thereafter, but authorities arrested him again the next year for illegally leaving the country. The courts sentenced him to five years at Robben Island Prison. In 1964, authorities charged him with sabotage and sentenced him to life in prison. 

Mandela spent eighteen years at Robben Island where he was confined to a small cell with no bed or plumbing. Guards forced him to do hard labor in the quarry. He could write and receive a letter only once every six months, and once a year, they allowed him to meet with a visitor for thirty minutes. 

Yet, Mandela’s resolve remained. He led a movement of civil disobedience that eventually convinced South African officials to improve prison conditions. In 1989, F. W. de Klerk became South Africa’s president and began to dismantle apartheid. On February 11, 1990, he ordered Mandela’s release. Mandela took off his prison garb and put on his regular clothes.

Former King Jehoiachin also put on some new clothes. “He (Evil-merodach) supplied Jehoiachin with new clothes to replace his prison garb and allowed him to dine in the king’s presence for the rest of his life” (Jeremiah 52:33 NLT).

A previous Babylonian king had removed him from his throne in Jerusalem and taken him captive. But now a new king freed him. Not only did Jehoiachin take off his prison garb, but he also ate regularly at the king’s table. 

Spring brings with it new clothes as well. Dormant trees bud, flower, and then leaf out. The grass greens. The dreaded pollen covers everything. Birds that left during the winter return to feeders and nest in trees. Perennials peak their heads from beneath a warming soil. And seeds in our flower and vegetable gardens sprout and provide us with beauty and fruit. 

Spring can also bring renewal for writers. The cold, dreary months of winter often threaten to zap our creativity. Some suffer from SAD (Season Affective Disorder) and struggle just to make it through the day, much less put anything on paper. Everyone, including publishers and agents, seem to take a vacation. We long for opportunities, but few come. With spring, our mindsets take a brighter turn. Closed doors suddenly open. We don’t feel washed up anymore. We actually think someone might want to read what we have written. 

In a spiritual way, God replicates spring for us when we seek forgiveness. Prior to this time, we wear sin garb, but forgiveness ushers us into new clothes: the righteousness of Christ. God then welcomes us to his table of grace, and we can freely come as often as we desire. 

But our spring benefits extend beyond earth. In heaven, we will sit at the feasting table of the King, dining with him for eternity. 

The Bible doesn’t tell us how Jehoiachin reacted to his new set of circumstances, but we can imagine. Even eating with a pagan king after being imprisoned must have exhilarated him. 

And us? When God opens new writing doors we didn’t even knock on or ones we’ve tired of knocking on, we, too, can rejoice, thank him, and do our best to use the skills he’s given us. 

Why not take a moment to thank God for the new garb he’s given you? Then, spring into the new day God has made.


Martin Wiles is the founder of Love Lines from God ( and serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He has authored six books and has been published in numerous publications. His most recent book, DON'T JUST LIVE...REALLY LIVE, debuted in October of 2021. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, author, and pastor.

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