Spiritual Seasons: Winter


You set the boundaries of the earth, and You made both summer and winter. - Psalm 74:17

I may be one of the few who loves winter. As a young kid, I briefly lived in New England, and although I’ve spent most of my life in the southeast of the US, I still have family there and growing up would frequent it often. To quote Elsa, “The cold never bothered me anyway.” Perhaps winter is in my blood.

There’s a term called “seasonal depression” and most people seem to experience this when winter rolls around. Winter is a season where things appear dead and the earth seems colorless - bare trees, grey skies, the grass is no longer green, most flowers are not in bloom, air is dry and at times nippy. I personally think it’s beautiful but I understand how people don’t like it. One of my most favorite parts is snow. When everything is fully covered and it’s entirely white, there is something so magical and beautiful about it. Watching it fall is serene and mesmerizing.

There have been times when I have found myself in a spiritual season like winter. There appeared to be a lot of things dead - dreams had faded, relationships had ended, opportunities had seemingly ceased - and unlike the earthly season, I did not like it. Rather, I grew depressed. But just as with any season, it’s only here for a time.

Winter is a season of waiting. Things may look dead and stagnant, but despite appearance, there is much growth occurring, just on the inside and behind the scenes. This is the time when everything is occurring beyond where our eyes can see, which is something we tend to get stuck on: physical sight. It tests our patience and faith. This definitely happens in our spiritual lives. Our "winters" can be a few weeks (like a winter in the south), or they can be months (like a winter in the north), perhaps even years. Yet, when it seems like it will never change, we can know and trust that God is ever faithful. The winter is a process of regrowth and lately He has been growing me - strengthening my faith, stretching my patience, developing a deeper trust and unwavering hope in Him. God is preparing the ground in my heart and soul for the season to come - a spring; a season when I will finally see what He’s been working on all this time and I will have a greater appreciation for it because of what I’ve endured.

We cannot skip seasons. We cannot skip the process of growth. Is it hard? Without doubt. But as believers, we never go through a season alone. God is always with us. He intentionally created seasons for specific purposes. They are a continual process of growth, life, removing of the old to create room for the new. Let your roots grow deep into Him and His truth (Colossians 2:6-7) during your winter so when spring arrives you may enjoy how He worked and how you grew.

Reflection

1. When I cannot see God’s hand moving, when things appear dead and stagnant, do I trust that God is in control and there’s purpose here?

2. How can I better learn and mature during this season of winter?

Prayer

Yahweh,

Thank You for being a sovereign God who created seasons. Thank You for being with me always. Help me to see with eyes like Yours, beyond what I can physically see, and trust that You are good and working. May I grow to appreciate seasons like this, allowing myself to learn, grow, and become more of the woman You desire me to be.

Amen

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