Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Winter Wait

It may only be September but I’m already dreading the winter. Having grown up in a desert I’m used to lots of sunshine and warmth, an 80 degree Christmas were not unusual growing up. But now I’m further north, living in a place where the winter months are defined as foggy and overcast, with a cold wind. There may not be snow to contend with but the rain and dreary clouds day after day weigh heavily on my soul for weeks.

I’m not a patient person in general, I want to see what’s happening and know exactly why it’s taking so long. I’m the kind to get quickly frustrated if a recipe is taking longer than usual to cook, always checking the oven to see if it’s done yet. Winter is like that for me, it feels endless and I can’t imagine how poorly I would handle being a farmer, constantly waiting for the sun to come so we can plant and so we can see the fruits of our labor from the autumn. But many plants need that ‘burial’ period over the winter, beneath the dirt and cold they’re working to be strong and ready for spring to burst forth. God orchestrates those time for us too I believe; times where things don’t feel warm and sunny, where the winds never seem to stop and feel so cold. God works in the secret places, under the ground, in the womb, where we cannot see His work until it is basically finished. We cannot see how His hand coaxes a bulb to put down roots, how He weaves sinew and bone to create a beautiful little precious life. We have to wait, we have to trust that He is doing His work, even when we cannot see anything but barrenness.

Winter feels so long, so endless, like it will never stop. It is so tempting to despair, to give up all hope that spring will bring its warmth and beauty. But God is faithful, His love endures forever and will never fail us. He will use the stark bleakness of the winter landscape in our lives to emphasize the beauty when the spring does come. Lord, teach me to embrace your work in my winter and to look forward in hope to the glorious spring.

Join me in hope today? Hide His word in your heart

“But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in His word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord

more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning."

~ Psalm 130: 4-6

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