Growing up in South Florida, the only seasons I regularly experienced were summer and hurricane season. Nearly, every day was hot and humid in varying degrees. I would get excited for the few days of winter that would get cold, which meant anywhere between 40 and 60 degrees. Christmases were never white; and during the fall, the trees remained just as green and full as they were the rest of the year. I first saw leaves change four years ago, during the short time that I lived in Tennessee. Now that I live in Minnesota, I look forward to seeing the fiery colors of autumn every year. Also, 40 to 60 degrees no longer seems very cold. It’s actually pretty nice if there’s no wind blowing and the sun is shining. The summers are short, winters are long, and springtime ushers in the great thaw.
Lately, it has begun to get chilly outside. It doesn’t look like winter yet, but it’s starting to feel like it. I wait in anticipation for the first big snow that will turn this world from a dingy brown to pure white. I enjoy winter – especially in the beginning. The air is crisp; the snow is clean and fresh. When the sun shines, the earth and trees glitter and sparkle as if dressed in diamonds. Soon, there will be snowmen, sledding, frozen lakes, broom ball, hot cocoa, apple cider and Christmas. It is such a fun season! I love waking to a world that is blanketed in thick, fluffy snow, making everything look clean, new and full of possibility. Snow makes me think of purity. It also reminds me of God’s promises. “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 When I’m reminded of God’s promises, I’m encouraged and my hope is renewed. This is so important! It’s something that I need – especially toward the end of winter when the frosty chill is unrelenting.
I have an appreciation for all of the seasons – probably because I didn’t really get to experience them while growing up. As much as I enjoy winter, I admit that I’m never very excited at the prospect of scraping ice off of my windshield, having car trouble, shoveling the driveway, or driving to work on slick, icy roads. As much as I enjoy the snow, there comes a time when I’ve had enough – when the world no longer shimmers but instead wears a depressing shade of institutional gray. And everything looks dead and desolate. Stepping outside into temperatures that make the snot inside of my nose instantly freeze is one of the strangest things I’ve ever felt. Sometimes the air is so damp that the chill sinks deep down into my bones, and it seems like no matter how much I bundle up, no matter how many blankets I wrap around myself, I just can’t get warm. The sun appears to have gone on a long vacation, and I miss the heat of its rays beaming upon my face. I become weary of these conditions and wait in anticipation for winter’s end.
Everyone experiences difficult seasons in life. They come and go whether you like it or not. The thing about seasons is that you can’t control them. If you don’t like the season that you find yourself in, you can either embrace it or fight it. But you might as well embrace it, because fighting a season is futile and will only leave you exhausted. Seasons are in constant forward motion, always changing – if ever so slightly. They also serve a purpose; they have work to accomplish. God designed them that way. Even when it seems that a season has come to a complete standstill, there are movements and workings happening underground, beneath the surface, beyond what the natural eye can observe. A season may seem like it will last forever, but the time will eventually come for it to end. Then the next season will begin. Embrace the season that you are in, whatever that may be. Remind yourself of God’s promises, and hold on to them so that you don’t grow weary and lose hope. God is faithful and He always keeps His promises. Allow the season to do the work that God has purposed for it to do in you. Ultimately, it is for your good, so that you can grow and flourish.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11