Seasons and Times
By Norma Miller
March 1, 2013
It is November; the leaves are mostly down, and we are busily raking them. The smell of smoke can often be found in the air. The crisp outdoors gives us a sense of foreboding...cold, wintry days are on their way and will soon be upon us. We feel the urgency of preparing so we are not caught unaware.
Winter can be an interesting, fun time, especially for those who love snow and winter skating and sledding. A lot of times, though, winter is seen as a cold time when things lie dead and dormant, and we look forward to warmer times, when life springs new and green and splashes of color can be found on the landscape.
We can find ourselves in the winter of the heart, too, at times, where it feels like we are dying beneath a crushing weight of cold, bitter snow. Winter in our lives can be many things. It can be a time of deep testing, of hurt and pain, or of grieving over the loss of a loved one. These times are cold, dark, and lonely, and it often feels like we have been trudging through thigh-deep snow in heavy winter coats. We wonder, "will spring ever come?"
The thing to remember during these times is that the winter is a time of preparation...preparation for springtime when new growth and life will come, and for summer when we will become fruitful. It is a time of surrender...surrender to the death of our wishes, wants, dreams, and goals, and surrendering them to God, so He can raise them up brand new. When we have surrendered them, and allowed them to die, God is free to raise them up in His image. Then it is no longer our plan, but His, and He can bless it.
There is a song I love that says, "When the dream has been so lonely, and the road has been too long, and you feel love is just for the lucky and the strong, just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow, lies the seed that with the sun's (Son's) love, in the spring becomes a rose." Those words have been an amazing comfort and encouragement to me.
Winter of this sort is not something we look forward to, but as God's Word tells us, "Beloved, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." We can count it all joy when we fall into different trials and temptations. Spring will come eventually, as it always does, even after a long, hard winter, and then we will burst forth with new life, and songs. And in the summer, we will bring forth much fruit.
So when you are going through the hard times, surrender to the process. Allow God to do His work in you. Remember, the sun will shine again, the snow will melt, the birds will sing, and the flowers will bloom. Then you can help someone else going through the process, and give them encouragement and hope.
Song of Solomon 2:10-13 says: "My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." This is God's infinite love showing. He says, "it's all over, come with me into the warm sunshine."
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