When I lived in Chicago, my favorite season was spring. It was exciting, thrilling, invigorating to see green peeking up under the gray, drab snow. The budding trees, the tulips, the daffodils, the grass, long dormant, perking up to a warm emerald once again. Even the air smelled differently – infused with the faintest hint of wildflowers and roses long before the temperature rose above 50!
Despite the calendar heralding the beginning of spring, it is still winter in my heart. The hush is profound just like newly fallen snows silences the world. Naturalists tell us winter is preparation; there is growth going on underneath the surface. I don’t see it in myself…not right now. So, I resist the stillness, hoping my heart will not become more bruised than it already is.
During the winter seasons of my life, I wonder if I’m valuable to God. Am I doing anything significant? How am I contributing? It is during winter I wonder why God has abandoned me, let me down, replaced conversation with mind-numbing quiet. I want to will myself into spring, into the season of enormous growth, of riotous color, of warming sunshine, so I keep busy. But that never works.
I try to see winter as necessary. While we both see my struggles, God sees more than that. He sees the growth within the stillness. The season of preparing. The repairing of my heart so when spring finally arrives, I will be able to grow, to bear fruit, to give.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 states: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” If you are in winter right now, you long for spring to replace the fallow ground with verdant fields. Despite the fickleness of the changing seasons in our heart, there is one constant. God loves us. He knows our circumstances. He understands our needs and our desires. Every day, forever, He is our companion, caring for us in ways we can’t comprehend. Every day, always.
Take heart, my fellow travelers in winter. Grab a hold of God’s hand. He will lead you into the spring waiting just over the horizon.