Have you ever lived through a season of life that seemed cold and winter-like? A time when there seemed to be no growth? Are you living in that season right now? Does your life feel life-less?
Temperatures here in Ohio have been sub-zero. The ground is blanketed with snow. There are no blooms to enjoy, no rustle of tender green leaves, no melodies lifting from the throats of the songbirds, no aroma of life wafting up from the stark frozen ground.
Nature appears lifeless. But under the cold and snow there lies a promise that winter is not forever. It’s a promise that I enjoy searching out every year right before the harshest days of the season settle in; the green daffodil tips that have dared break through the ground.
These green shoots are not growing right now. They are enduring the winter season as they anticipate the spring.
Do you find yourself in similar circumstances to my daffodils?
Look for encouragement in your winter season. Finding encouragement when circumstances are cold and harsh requires the choice to look closely for them. (The daffodil tips are visible only when I get really close!)
Scriptures provides encouragement. Hold to the promises of God’s goodness (2 Peter 1:3). The reassurance that He will never leave or forsake His own (Deuteronomy 31:8). The confidence that He is the Provider (Philippians 4:19.) The peace that He will bring good from all things for those who love Him and follow His purposes (Romans 8: 28).
Encouragement can also be found by staying close to those friends and family members who are present, who are bold in their love, and who are vocal in their words of hope. Proverbs picture such words as “apples of gold in pictures of silver”. (Proverbs 25:11)
If the daffodils were to keep growing during the bitter winter season, they would be destroyed by the freezing cold. For them to become fully alive, they must endure a season of waiting.
Our seasons of waiting frustrate us. These winter seasons may be protecting us and preparing us for the season in which we find our purpose. Winter is our invitation to rest and trust, knowing that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
When I see those tiny green sprouts crouching just above the surface of the cold soil, I cannot help but smile. They carry such hope! Hope that the harshness of winter will soon give way to spring. Confidence that in spite of how they now appear, they will soon grow into their intended purpose.
We find that same hope in God’s promises, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Are you in “Winter”?
Don’t despise this season, even though it feels harsh and cold, dark and lonely. Look for the promises of God. Wait patiently, trusting His timing. Hope for what you can’t quite yet see. When the season is right, you will flourish in what He is preparing you for.
“Look around you: Winter is over; the winter rains are over, gone! Spring flowers are in blossom all over.” (Song of Songs 2:10-12 Msg.)
(This post has been shared on Works for Me Wednesday)