Mar
12

Turn into the Sunlight

By

daffodils in snow

 

I can never quite embrace what others describe as the ‘beauty of winter’. Winter and I are not the best of friends.  I simply endure winter.  I can enjoy the beauty of an occasional snow here in North Alabama, but mostly I just try not to think of how long winter seems and just gather my strength for one more day of it until it ends.

 My daughter and some of my friends actually enjoy winter. They love the snuggle-in-feeling that comes with the dark and foggy days. Visions of hot chocolate, comfort foods, and long talks with friends and family dance in their heads.

For me, winter reminds me of the one-mile race my high school track coach made me run.  I was truly good at the 50-yard dash and the 100-yard dash. I actually won some ribbons in those events (it was a long, long time ago!) But when Mrs. Wilson put me on the one-mile race, I hated it. My body ached and my lungs hurt and I even threw up on occasion. That’s how I feel about winter. It’s best to be ignored, denied, and avoided at all costs. It’s just too long and requires too much endurance.

I spend each day of winter trying not to be impatient as I wait for springtime. I don’t allow myself to think about springtime too much because if I do, I become so dissatisfied with the season I am living in.

This particular winter has felt eternal to me. Apparently the Ground Hog was frightened beyond words on February 2 and dove back into his hole and is just now barely recovering. Our winter here has been much longer than normal with repeated ice and snow (okay, for Alabama it has been repeated ice and snow.  I take my hat off to all of you who endure ice and snow every winter.)

But yesterday as I drove home from work, my eyes saw them. Daffodils. They have risen from the deadness of winter! My heart literally leapt as it dared hope that this awful winter is almost over.  A. A. Milne’s children book, When We Were Very Young, says it this way:

“She turned to the sunlight

    And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbor:

    "Winter is dead.”

When we leave winter and enter springtime, we transition. Leaving behind deadness, dryness, and hopelessness, we turn to the sunlight and rejoice that winter is dead.  

While living through the literal winter season may not be such a terrible thing, living through the winter of your soul is arduous. Enduring dark, lifeless seasons can leave you numb and hopeless yet underneath the winter ground are roots that still live. Those roots are planted in the source of life, Jesus Christ. The winter seasons always pass and springtime comes and with it comes renewed hope and joy.

So persevere on fellow journeyer. You may be in the depths of a winter season, but springtime is just around the corner. Because Christ died, was buried, and rose again, you, too, can rise from the dark places and enjoy new days and new seasons. Hebrews 6:18-19 says, “… take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…”.  My prayer for you is that very soon you will find yourself turning to the sunlight and shaking off the last traces of winter.  Soon you will look around and declare, “Winter is dead!” The power of hope resurrected will spring forth and bring new life for you. Winter never lasts forever and springtime always comes because He lives and he is the anchor of our souls.

 

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