Even though I’ve grown up in Chicagoland my whole life, and most recently have spent a winter in Springfield, MO, I have never been one who particularly enjoys winter. Snow is beautiful, yes. (Especially when it has freshly fallen onto tree branches!) But the consistent cloudiness paired with a chill in the air gets to me after a while.
However, I sometimes wonder what it would be like if we didn’t have the hope of a spring. I try to imagine a state of constant winter with little hope of new life sprouting up from the ground. The thought of buds on the trees not appearing, the sun not peering through, and new life not coming leaves me feeling terribly sad.
The first two tulips outside my residence hall bloomed yesterday. As I beheld the beautiful light pink flowers, I took a deep breath and smiled. I never cease to be amazed by the annual promise of new life. No matter what, in our hearts, we are able to live with the hope that we do not have to experience a state of constant winter.
What a beautiful reflection of what God does in our lives. Never do we have to grapple with the uncertainty of whether or not we will see spring again. For, God brings restoration to us even in the midst of our life’s winters. He comes to us when we can’t bear the bitter chill or the clouds which seem to always darken our days. When we are grieving a deep loss, when we have questions beyond the answers we have received, when we cannot understand why we are experiencing an indescribable pain–God promises to not only create purpose during that season, but He will also give us new life.
A verse that continues to speak to me through the different seasons of life is Ecclesiastes 3:11. It speaks of the beauty God has in store for those who love Him. It gives assurance that God’s purpose is being performed even when we cannot comprehend His timing or His plan.
What’s so incredible is that God even uses the winters in our lives to point us to Him. For, if we never experienced the depth of grief and sadness, we could never sense in its fullness God’s overwhelming comfort. If the tulips were always in bloom, I would not sense to the fullest extent the beauty of a withered plant dying only to be renewed in full beauty.
Allow God to speak to you during this season of your life. Perhaps you are in the midst of a grave winter, and you sense you cannot see any signs of life. Know that God is with you in this season. While your circumstances may not make sense, trust that while they may not be “good,” God will work them out for your good as your desire is to live according to His purpose.