Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter Doesn't Last Forever - Spring Is On Its Way!

Ahh... Summer!  We love it all - picnics, sunshine, gardens of blossoming flowers, bike rides, camping and backyard barbecues with friends.               Grr... Winter!  We hate it - cold feet, frosted windshields needing scraped, dormant trees, limited outdoor activities and dark days that seem too long.  Why is it that Summer goes twice as fast as Winter?  Rarely does anyone say, "When is this Summer going to be OVER?"  but contrarily, we start whining, "When is this Winter going to end? I'm so ready for Spring!"

This is true in the Seasons of our lives also.  We tend to skip joyfully through Spring and Summer, whistling a happy tune and smelling the roses. Those days fly by carefree and quickly.   But Fall does show up and eventually turns into Winter.  It's just the natural cycle of life, yet that's easily forgotten during those long, dark Winter days in our souls.  Why is that?  I believe it's because we miss the green - the growth - the sunshine!

While living through the first real "Winter" of my life, my sister-in-law, Kim, shared a book with me called The Desert Experience.  It was through these stories of people's dormant times that I learned about the concept of deep roots.  When the leaves are gone, and the sheen of the bark is dull, that is when the roots dig deeper than ever.  A tree may look dead on the outside, all the while, the hidden parts are developing into a stronger, hardier tree.  If you find yourself in a "dormant" Winter, feeling like you're hibernating deep in a dark cave, I hope you remember that Spring, always, always, ALWAYS comes after Winter.  In all the years that this world has been spinning on its axis, the seasons have faithfully arrived when the Conductor of the Universe sweeps His baton beaconing their entrance.
.....and once again, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  The old saying, "This too shall pass," is true after all.  In the cheerful Seasons, let us use those to rejoice and work in the soil sowing seeds with anticipation of blossoms.  In the quiet, sedentary Seasons let us use those to dig deeper and grow stronger.  I wish all of life was a Summer playground, but it isn't.  And honestly, now that I've lived through a couple of Winters, I wouldn't exchange what I learned in those times for anything.  It was in quietness of my snow covered soul that I heard the voice of my Lord in a way I never had before.  He hadn't left me, nor forsaken me.  He was in the Winter, too!

"But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."  Jeremiah 17:7-8

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