Winter is breaking, spring is coming and there is a comforting alive-ness in the air. There is something wonderful about spring. It stirs something so deep in the soul. If I were to put a word to it, I guess it would be hope.
For months everything feels gray. Animals are in hibernation, the landscape is either covered in colorless white, or mud, sunsets are almost non-existent in the gray skies. People mostly stay inside, so there is stillness in the atmosphere. When we do step outside the air is frigid and uncomfortable, so most people stay inside as much as possible.
Sure, there are people who truly enjoy the winter and all it has to offer, but for many of us mid-season something inside of us aches. We long to feel the sunshine on our skin, we long to step outside and feel the balmy warmth, and smell the freshness that only outdoors can offer. We want to open our windows and invite the brightness into our homes and to hear the birds chirping again. Springtime truly is a magical time of the year, but without the bitterness of winter, springtime would not give the kind of relief that we feel.
Just as this world has seasons, our lives have seasons too. It can be easy to feel forgotten by God in those “winter” seasons of life. Some people ask why God would allow those hard seasons to come.
At times it feels like the warmth of life may never come again, or some may not taste the warmth of life for decades. I have experienced these seasons in my own life. I have watched others going through those seasons.
One thing I have learned is with out those life winters; I would not be able to experience the full joy of my life seasons of springtime, or summer time. There is something so wonderful when a hard life season begins to break away, and a calmer season is coming. I can also look back on those hard seasons and see God’s sovereign hand in it. He was healing me, refining me, changing me from the inside out.
In the book of Ruth we can see the different seasons playing out as we read it. We can see how God moved in the lives of Naomi and Ruth.
Naomi’s husband and her two sons died in a foreign land. Her daughter in law Ruth commits to staying with Ruth, rather than going back to her family. Both are left with nothing. Both are destitute. Both are going through a winter season, painful, scary, dead, cold.
But God had a purpose and a plan. He brought Ruth a wonderful godly man named Boaz, who took both Naomi and Ruth into his home. He married Ruth, they had a baby named Obed, and Naomi had the grandchild she thought she would never have. Even more beautiful, because of that child Naomi and Ruth are named in the lineage of Christ. Obed is the grandfather of King David, who is in the direct lineage of Christ.
We may not understand all that happens in our lives. We may feel the bitter cold of life at times, but if we hunker down for those hard seasons, and keep trudging through, spring is bound to break through eventually.
Song of Songs paints a beautiful picture of this when it says in verse 2:11-12 “The winter is past, the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear in the earth, the season of singing has come…”
Let’s celebrate together as a community the season of spring, and let’s be purposeful to celebrate with important people in our lives their life moments of spring, and hold one another in our life moments of winter.
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