Winter. The first half of “winter” gallops toward the holidays, doesn’t it? November and December don’t feel dreary because all the momentum is pushing toward Thanksgiving and Christmas. But then New Year’s Eve rolls off the calendar and we’re faced with January and February. Jan and Feb are like, “Hey, we don’t have any big holidays, but look at our ice and snow!”
From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens? Job 38:29
Wandering in a Winter Wonderland
Spiritually, I struggle the most in January and February. A look back through my journals over the past 10 years will confirm this fact. It’s usually a season of greater spiritual battle, drifting, and restlessness, but I’ve learned to push through and realize these struggles aren’t because something is wrong with me. Our souls go through different seasons, much like our planet does. There is purpose to each rotation of the planet, change in the leaves, and each season of our souls.
In winter, plants and their seeds are designed to reboot for greater growth come spring time. Housekeeping and renewal take place beneath the surface of the soil, even though only lifeless stems and leaves remain visible to our eyes.
When I researched what happens deep in the plants during these months, I identified with those changes and preparations. That’s how my heart feels during these months. It’s encouraging that God uses that time to prepare me and you for greater growth ahead.
Plants are also designed to combat the damage that ice can do to their cells. They shift proteins and other membranes to protect their insides from becoming a molecular snow cone. Those little seeds are tougher than they appear, as they settle into the long frosty months.
Our hearts are tougher than they appear as well. God has equipped us to endure the frosty months by giving us a few tools to combat the cold: God’s word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers. By regularly immersing myself in God’s word, staying in fellowship with other believers, and not neglecting my prayer life, my heart can thaw out as it is protected from winter’s damaging frost.
Hopefully I can better prepare my heart heading into these deep winter months and make use of the renewal time. Will you join me in praying that God renews and protects our hearts during these months?
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1