Noticing the Beauty in Your Winter
Before the leaves returned in early May, I was passing through our living room when a dazzling sunset captured my attention. Instantly, I thought when the trees turn green again, I will miss this glorious site. We live in the middle of the woods and that means that once spring truly arrives, any view beyond our yard is blocked by enormously bountiful trees. The Holy Spirit then touched my heart with this revelation: Embrace the "winter" because it brings a richness of beauty and appreciation that goes unnoticed in the other "seasons" of life.
If I had to place my life in a season right now, I would say I am in spring. There is still the hint of winter, but the warm breeze that signifies new life appears to be looming in the air. A few months ago, I would have told you that I was living in winter, not literally, but metaphorically. There is a circumstance in my life that the Lord is allowing which is requiring me to stretch in ways I didn't know I needed to be stretched. He is using this situation to teach me how to be unequivocally patient, compassionate, and creative. This area of my life often leads me to exhaustion and tears, and nowhere to turn but in desperate prayer to God. Yet, I see hope in this circumstance. There is new "growth on the trees" and the time in between "winter storms" seems to get a little longer each time. But, there are days when all I can feel is the "icy storm" and all I can see is the "dark, gray sky."
When "the storm" has passed, I find myself so eternally grateful for the "radiating sunrise" that brings the "light." In those moments, my soul emphatically praises the Lord, thanking him for every morsel of hope. In the "warmer days" we are not quick to readily acknowledge all of His gifts and glory as everything is tinged with goodness. When life is going well, the splendid does not stand out as much. It's just another moment of splendor in a sea of riches. But when the "waves are pounding" on you again and again, "the rays of sunshine" are your lifeline and elicit a sincere praise and hope from a place deep within your soul, connecting you to your Maker in profound ways.
My prayer is this, that in your "winter season," you would be able to deeply appreciate the gifts that God sends. The moments of peace, the times of reflection, the magnificent surprise, and the opportunity to grow (more like Christ). Once the trees bloom, the beauty behind the branches is often hidden, unseen, unnoticed--forgotten. The summer holds a new beauty, but it's not the magnificent, unexpected treasure we discover in the winter. Don't miss the chance to embrace your winter and glorify the Lord in His workings. He is allowing you to see rare moments of splendor that others don't even know they are missing.
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