Snow has been flurrying outside the window and our pavements carpeted with ice; making every journey treacherous. The cold bites into our bones and the nights stretch out, long and dark. Winter is here.
It can seem that in winter we are surrounded by death and decay. The flowers we loved in summer have long withered away and are no more. Tree branches arch bare and empty across the skyline. The landscape appears barren and desolate.
Winter can bring with it loss and sadness. We can so quickly forget the warmth of the sun on our skin or the feel of the summer breeze in our hair. The truths we knew in the sunshine feel like mysteries in the dark. We know sickness and for some grief will find them in this season. Not all will make it through to spring.
Sometimes we face winters in our lives, seasons that pay no heed to the calendar or the weather outside. We may watch someone we love struggle with illness, or we carry the burden ourselves. Or it may be we’re waiting for that day when we don’t feel exhausted any more, when life doesn’t weigh so heavily on our shoulders. We could know the pain of grief or the loneliness of isolation. Maybe we’ve seen dreams slip away before our eyes and felt hope fading. Our fears and anxieties pound at the door, and we battle to keep the darkness at bay. Perhaps we’ve known what it feels to have despair envelope us, whilst we cry out to a God who stays silent. Winters can be painful and lingering.
But no matter how long and bleak a winter, spring must always come.
If we fix our eyes on the storm around us we may miss those signs of the changing season. We may not see those green shoots of new life, venturing from ground we watered with our tears. Hopes and dreams that have lain dormant through the winter, will blossom once more. We will know the warmth of the sun again, times of joy and plenty.
We need to know that when God is silent He is still listening. We are never forgotten, abandoned or alone. He holds all the seasons in his hands and weaves them into the tapestry of our lives in His wisdom. Sometimes we have to trust that He has a purpose in these winter times, even though we may not see it for ourselves. But God can turn our mourning into dancing; He lovingly creates beauty from the ashes in our lives. God will remain after every season has passed away.
Perhaps this winter is testing you beyond what you can bear. Maybe you’ve given up on spring ever arriving. But hold on a little longer. Look out for those signs of life breaking through.
Spring is coming.
” There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3:1