I've never been one to like the cold.
Having been raised in Michigan and other Northern states amidst chilling winters and freezing temperatures, I've often given winter the cold shoulder. The weightless snowflakes that some find so beautiful have been like a disguised enemy to me. Masked in gentle white flakes, but once accumulated cause harmful road conditions and treacherous walkways.
But somehow, over the last few days, I've heard a whisper in the air. Seen a message in the desolate trees that appear barren and isolated. Oh, if winter could talk, I may have heard her gently share a lesson in my ears:
"What appears to be unfruitful, barren and dead, is merely in process of blooming. Why, in a few short weeks the tale will be told, as green bulbs of life sprout forth with the shinning of the sun."
Winter whispers that joy must be unearthed from within. External circumstances are always subject to change, and we must not find our happiness outside of us. As the sun hides its face behind the winter's clouds and all appears gray, this is an opportunity to remember the source of our strength. The joy of our souls. The deep place inside that either is tossed to and fro by the seasons that come and go, or the place where we make the conscious choice to find the warmth of joy in the cold seasons and rejoice without the sun. The test of winter comes each year, and yet how often do we fail and succumb to the externals, withering away with the weather?
The joy of a restful snow day quickly turns into a complaining festival as we hurry to busy ourselves with unnecessary project, because rest is unprofitable, we say. Oh, but winter's whisper reminds us that it is necessary to rest. Profitable to renew and hibernate for a season to regain strength and vitality. Life, as we know, is a challenging race. But a sprint? Not so much. It is a long distance journey to a crowned finale at the finish line of faith. May we remember to embrace the moments of rest without guilt and condemnation, realizing that it is a gift for the diligent, not a playground for the idle.
As I take a moment to hear the winter whispers, I hope you too can hear the message. See the lesson. And past the test.
What is winter speaking to you?
Please share below and I pray you find joy today from deep within.