“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22); “You have set all the borders of the earth; You have made summer and winter.” (Psalm 74:17).
In all of the seasons of the year, winter is seen as the most unproductive, coldest, most dreary and dull season. A season of no growth, of barrenness and lifeless images. It is never a season one longs for. I have never heard any individual say “I can’t wait for winter”, or “There is so much fun I am going to have”, or even “I wish winter would come sooner”.
Nighttime predominates the winter season. Much like the winters in our life. Where there is darkness all around us and we can’t see any life, growth or even fruit. The first thoughts that enter our hearts are thoughts of dismay, hopelessness, despondency and despair. Yet it is in the winters of our life that we incline our ear closely to God as we wait upon Him for deliverance and guidance. In all of the other three seasons, we work and see fruit thereof. It is only in winter that we wait and allow ourselves to be carried in the arms of a loving Father. Sometimes we need to let ourselves fall into the bosom of our Father. Winter allows us to come to a point of rest in Christ.
A year is not complete if winter did not come and so our spiritual cycle is not complete unless winter comes. Serving God in the summer of our life is a fruitful season yet serving God in the winters of our life defines a true child. God has established every season for us but winter can prove to be the toughest of them all. Will we break and turn away when the days become darker, colder and tougher or are we strengthened to spur on even when we are not able to see the sunlight?
During the winter season, the ground is barren but it finds its time of rest and though we see no signs of life, it is in its recuperation stage where it is preparing itself for new growth and spring. Instead waiting for winter to pass, we should relax in its recuperation phase of being rejuvenated to continue bearing good fruit. The leaves of all plants die but the root of the tree remain intact.
Be grounded in Christ so even when we are left bare in winter, our roots will remain strong and nourished in the Almighty God. Even though you go through the waters, it will not flood and when you are in the fire, not a hair on your head will be burnt. Do not despise chastening, discipline, and even pruning, because the Lord chastens those He loves. Even Job understood that it is easy to praise God when the times are bountiful and good so how about having the same countenance when nothing is going according to our own understanding and plans. Though he will slay me, yet I will praise him.
Are you prepared to praise God in the winters of your life? Or will the coldness of the times render your heart bitter and hard? Let us not harden our hearts in rebellion or we will be left to wander in winter for longer than we need too. God does not punish us with winter, He prepares us for spring. He calls us aside in stillness and barreness yet to show us His glory. Moses radiated God’s glory after he spent time with Him. Winter allows us to separate ourselves and leave us alone in the presence of God and when we leave God’s presence, His light and love illuminates in us and His glory is revealed.
I have learned this the difficult way but it is worth it. Winter allows you to realign your focus and shifts you from norm into unknown. Many of us only step out in faith when we are pushed into it. Don’t wait for the light at the end of the tunnel anymore, bring the light of Christ into the tunnel.
Reign in the winter of your life with Christ and adore him with your obedience. Obedience is better than any sacrifice one could offer. Spiritual growth needs winter months for you never know what you are made up off unless you are put to the test. Guard your heart in winter and wear your breastplate of righteousness, protect your mind with the helmet of salvation, gird your loins with the belt of truth, shoe your feet with the gospel of peace, draw your sword of the spirit and shield yourself with the shield of faith.
Winter does not last forever but a momentary season just passing through. Trust the Creator of the seasons to always keep you tilted to the “sonlight” though you may feel far away. Winter is not an easy season, but if you survive it, it means you were built to last. If we run with men on foot and get tired, how will we run with horses?
Dear Lord Jesus, help me in the winters of my life to trust You undoubtedly. Keep me rooted on Your word and even when I can’t see You or feel You nearby, help me know that You are omnipresent. Help me to grow when all is barren around me. Help me to be willing and obedient in all the seasons of growth. Let me reign with You in winter, Lord. In Jesus name I pray, amen