Monthly Archives: April 2014

Missing Spring

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.

Early Spring FlowersDuring 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.


I came back exhausted. Three friends from high school live in the Bay Area of California which prompted a long weekend to visit them. Walking up and down the hills, enjoying an afternoon japanese gardenstroll through the Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park, hiking to see waterfalls in Marin County, staying up late for girl talk, plus the drive there and back left me lingering in bed the morning after my return.

Prior to my departure, I predicted my muscles would ache after the trip. Still I was not prepared for the exhaustion. I packed as much as I possibly could into a short period of time. So while it was the good kind of tired, my energy level hit rock bottom nonetheless.

It got me to thinking about other times my energy has waned. Galatians 6:9 tells us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Remembering this verse brought pangs of guilt. There I was laying in my bed weary from three days of activity even though there was so much to do that morning. Was I essentially giving up? So many tasks to accomplish, so many people to connect with, a dog to be walked; the list was endless. But then I realized that in order to gain stamina, rest was essential, not selfish.

Rest is what enables us to recharge, to prepare for the tasks ahead of us. I like to think of myself as someone who stays strong, who never gives up the fight. I want to serve well until the day I’m done. But God knows we need rest to be rejuvenated, because it is the only way we are filled so we can pour out our energy and our love once again.

During that day, I acknowledged that I am human, that I have limits. But I also prayed to God, “I’m not quitting. In the stillness of today, I’m learning to trust you.” Rest brought increased stamina to serve the God of grace, who understands the frailty of my human condition. And even when I felt weak, I knew there was divine power working within me. After resting, I gained vigor to get up and keep going.

There are many things that drive us to bed: too much exercise, an illness, depression. As Christians, though, we all have God in us – One who is bigger, more powerful, more capable than any of our bad days. He is stronger than our circumstances. Every moment of our lives are in God’s care. Every day begins and ends with His purpose. There will always be a faithful never-changing God who is in control. He gives us stamina, for in our rest we acknowledge He is in charge and He will never let us go.