What a difference 77 days make

June 17, 2011 | My Jottings

Have you heard that old song called “What a Difference a Day Makes” sung by Dinah Washington? Yes? No? In case you don’t think you’ve heard it, click here and you’ll realize that you really have heard it before. Somewhere you’ve heard it. In an elevator or in possibly your grandmother’s kitchen. Here are some of the lyrics:

What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain

Remember now? I thought so.

Well, today’s post was almost titled “What a difference a day makes” but then it would have been lying. And I try not to lie to my readers. So when you see the photos below you’ll understand why I had no business calling this post “What a difference a day makes,” because the change from photo 1 to photo 2 happened in 77 days, not in one day. When you have your own blog you can write what you want (at least in this country, thank God), and I got a hankering to call this post “What a difference 77 days make.”

Now sing it with me a little bit, in a moody and smoky voice like Dinah’s: What a difference seventy-seven days make….two and a half little months…brought the sun and the flowers…where there used to be rain. Very nice!

Anyway, the day before yesterday we had a soft, steady rain, and in the morning we woke to a bit of fog that obscured the tops of the trees. Looking at the lushness of the garden at the base of our big maple tree, I remembered that not too long ago I took a couple of pictures of the same view as the winter was waning and snow was beginning to melt.

This photo was taken on March 31, 2011. You can barely make out the 8-shaped garden under the maple. (Click to enlarge if you like):


This photo of the same view was taken on the morning of June 16th, 2011:


What a difference 77 days make.

Now, aside from occasional mental meanderings into odd and unexpected places, I also like to think on how what can be observed in the physical world might be corresponding with what God is doing in the spiritual realm.

When I looked at these two photos the first thought that came to my mind was, “Lord, my life is the first photo! I’m so fruitless and dreary and dormant and blah!” And when I looked at the second photo I thought, “Lord, you can do anything. You can bring life and growth and fruitfulness again.” Then I thought, “Wait, maybe there has never been much life and growth and fruitfulness in the first place…” Then I thought, “No, that must be a lie. I will reject that and assume it’s a lie meant to discourage.” (Aren’t you glad you don’t live in the tennis court that is my mind?)

And even as I sit typing this, I look at the green, blooming lushness of our front garden and I ask the Lord, “Jesus, will you bring life and growth and fruitfulness to my life again? Even if it takes more than 77 days?”

I don’t know where many of you are in your lives right now. But if you’re anything like me, you might be feeling as though you’ve seen more vibrant, vigorous times. I understand. And I don’t think we’re the only ones. Take another look at the two photos above. Which one resembles your life the most? For those of us who might choose the first photo, I believe that God can do the same with a life that He can do with my yard.

Methodist minister Virgil Kraft said, “Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”

I used to have a drab and dirty yard. I now have a lush, full-blown spring in my yard.

I’m praying for a lush, full-blown spring in my heart. And in yours.


  1. Larry says:

    As I looked at your article of “What a difference a day makes” I thought that I would add also what comes to mind when I drive the country roads of the south, here in Tennessee.

    In the Winter months when I go for a drive, I look up and see the many designs of the crossing of the many different colored and shaded gray branches and twigs ever mingling ever twishing where leaves once were, yet while in the summer, driving the same roads where I live, I am always amazed at the many different shades and hues of green closing up, all what used to be open spaces and now seeing no openness, but rather the fullness of God’s creation giving me just a small chance of observing the finite variation of shades and hues of greens, the number unimaginable.

  2. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Larry!

  3. Ganeida says:

    As I have been in an *interesting* place recently & thinking about these things what actually occured to me is *rest*. Letting the land lie fallow was a requirement in the OT & that is true for us spiritually as well. There are times when we seem barren & fruitless but these may be times God has allowed for our rest when we are to press closer in to Him so than when our sap starts flowing again we bear much fruit. There are cycles in the spiritual life that echo the natural ~ if we have the ears to hear & the eyes to see. I can’t do hearts on your blog but the thought is there. 🙂

  4. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for your insight and encouraging words, Ganeida…..so true.

  5. Jessica says:

    I have to say I really don’t think I’ve ever heard that song before.

  6. Just Julie says:

    I was afraid some of my younger readers would say that. Sigh. I’ll bet your mom knows the song at least. 🙂

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