“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding…” -Daniel 2:21
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” –Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” –Genesis 8:22
Recently, I had what felt like a big revelation.
I’m in what you might call a “winter” season right now. It’s full of constant health problems and financial struggles and questions about the future. It’s full of waiting and waiting and waiting for promises that feel long overdue. It’s full of questions, and, at times, fear. It’s cold, it’s gray, and it seems like it will go on forever.
We’ve all had these winter season in life—where the outlook is bleak, where the diagnosis is certain, where the money is short, or where there just isn’t enough time. Winter seasons which, in that moment, leave us certain we’ll never see spring again.
I was listening to a testimony from a worship leader the other day, and she talked about how God was speaking to her about her own winter season. She was sitting and looking out into the barren, winter woods in her backyard, feeling sorry for herself, when God whispered to her, “Don’t you love how far you can see, with the leaves fallen from the trees? Don’t you love the clarity that winter brings? Do the trees feel anxious that they’ll never have leaves again? That spring will never come?”
Just think about that for a second.
Do you have to run up to all the trees in your backyard or flowers in your garden and continuously reassure them that spring will come? That they’ll bloom again? Of course not! But then why do our winter seasons feel so different? Why are they accompanied by so much fear and anxiety, and why do all our prayers seem to focus on God getting us out of them as soon as possible?
Maybe you all won’t agree with me on this, but I think there’s just as much beauty to be found in winter as there is in the spring or summer or fall. Sure, in winter, things take more work. Things are harder. Putting on heavy layers and ensuring the kids are bundled up and waking up early to scrap the frost of our car in the morning… All of that takes more work and preparation and awareness. But is there anything quite as lovely and peaceful as waking up to a fresh snowfall? Or enjoying a hot cup of cocoa and a book in front of the fire?
When we refuse to embrace the season God has us in, we (unknowingly) reject any of the beauty or awe or personal growth that might come with it. Because the thing is, we will all have those winter seasons. God said it. Seasons where things are harder, and where everything seems to take more effort. But what I want you to know is this—spring always comes. Always. You will bloom once again.
But in the mean time? Take a look around you, and ask God to give you the eyes to appreciate all that winter brings.