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Winter.

Just the sound of the word whistling through our lips puts a mental chill up our spines. Winter seems to speak of barrenness, frigid feelings of discomfort and discontent, icy shadows sprawled across frozen ponds, naked branches reaching up as if in supplication for relief. Short days, long nights. Fast-fading memories of yesterday’s fun in the sun, bike rides along the beach, the World Series, Thanksgiving. Heavy, gray clouds and harsh winds sting our faces and steal our smiles. With grim determination we trudge on, sometimes alone and isolated, within our own little world of heavy garb and frosty windows. “The dead of winter”–ah, an apt description!

Not all agree. Ski buffs and snow lovers resent such a depressing portrayal of their favorite season. So do artists who prefer a quaint cottage in New Hampshire rather than an ocean view at Malibu or a sandy beach at St. Thomas. For many, a year without winter would be a devastating disappointment. What better time to warm up alongside a crackling fire, listen to some fine music, and stare away an evening? Toss in the joy of Christmas, the celebration of New Years’ Eve, the Super Bowl, a Valentine’s Day kiss…and you’ve got enough to make anybody forget ninety-five degree days, along with flies and mosquitoes at an August picnic. What a difference perspective makes!

Winter—the ideal occasion to slow down. To invest a few extra hours in quiet reverence. To take a long walk over the freshly fallen white manna delivered earlier that day. To remind ourselves that ‘our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.’ (Psalm 115:3).

Is it winter right now in the season of your life? Are you feeling depressed…alone…overlooked…spiritually on ‘hold’…cold…barren? Beginning to wonder if your soul will ever thaw? Entertaining doubts that behind those thick, gray clouds there exists a personal, caring God?

Take it by faith, friend; He is there, and furthermore, He is neither dead nor deaf. What you are enduring is one of those dry-spell times when you’d rather curl up and cry than stand up and sing. That’s okay. Those times come. They also pass.

When this winter season ends, you’ll be wiser, deeper, stronger. Therefore, in reverence, look up. Be still and discover anew that He is God. That He is doing ‘whatever he pleases’ in your life.”

Charles R. Swindoll- “Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life” (Intro to “Winter”)

 


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