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When Winter Lingers

Posted by Terry Gassett on

When Winter Lingers

I am ready for Spring. I am ready to smell, taste, and witness Spring in her full regalia. Yet, traces of Winter still linger on, much like houseguests who has long overstayed their welcome. Peeking out of the window once again, will not make the tulips break through the stone cold ground any sooner. Nor will it cause the Robin to appear and break forth in song. The fruit trees are still dormant, and so, I feel, am I.

No matter how much I want to be in the season of Spring, the reality is part of my soul is still lingering in Winter. It is not quite sure how to surrender to a chosen but difficult life transition; how to grieve the loss of things familiar, or how to embrace the uncertainty of the future. Nor is it sure when Spring will appear. The calendar tells me it will arrive here, in the Northern Hemisphere, on Tuesday, March 20th at 12:15 PM EDT. Grief, transition and transformation know no such calendar.

I have discovered that Winter can be a hard place, but it can also be a beautiful place. If we can manage to crack open our eyes just a bit, we will find that winter holds a beauty every bit as stunning as Spring and we can spot glimpses of God’s gifts and grace all around us!

Snowflakes can be seen dancing as they fall from the sky to the ground below, carpeting it in soft, billowing blankets of white. Ice forms glass mirrors over solitary puddles. A cardinal flashes red against the cold gray backdrop of sky and stark bare tree branches, as he swoops in to gather seed from a nearby feeder, grateful that someone put it there to sustain him through the winter months.

Then there are the hidden gifts, the ones we don’t yet see. The ones that are lying dormant, in this season of Winter, waiting on the Father’s perfect timing to bring them forth.

Just as seeds fall to the ground in late autumn, only to find themselves covered with leaves and debris, so we often feel ourselves covered. Unseen. Seemingly unproductive. We feel as if we are buried deep in the cold soil of our soul, and we wonder how long this hibernation will last.

But, it is in this long, cold season of hibernation that seeds which will soon bear beautiful buds are strengthened and kept safe until spring arrives with just the right conditions for the tiny seedlings to emerge. It is in this season of dormancy, that the greatest preparation for Spring takes place.

So it is with seeds. And so it is with us. Our Father is equipping us with strength so that we can not only survive the long cold winters, but when spring comes...... and it always comes.....that we are ready to sprout forth in beauty, bearing gifts that signal not a change in season but a change in us.

While we wait for the warmth of Spring to come again and warm our bodies, may we bask in the warmth of the Son who Himself warms our soul, remembering that soon we will join in on the ushering in of Springtime, bearing witness once again to His Limitless Grace.


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