Out of the four seasons, there is one that I can barely muddle through.
It’s the one that leaves me shivering from December to March. The one that sends my heating bill spiking, and keeps my wood floors cold as the arctic. It’s the one that requires I wear two pairs of socks every day, and at least three sweaters. It’s the one that temporarily reddens the tip of my nose, and numbs my fingers at the expense of my dexterity.
It is winter, my friends. And it is right around the corner.
As a little child I didn’t mind winter so much. I loved hot chocolate, snow angels, and snow days, and that was enough to keep me satisfied. But now as an adult, very in touch with all of my discomforts and complaints, I dislike winter quite a lot. Summer is great with its warm sun, sweet smelling flowers, tank tops and flip-flops. Sweet spring holding all of the hope that summer is coming, and the cruel winter has ended at last. Fall is one of my favorites; pumpkins, and the smell of bonfires, hot apple cider, and snuggly sweaters.
I must admit I have begun feeling guilty for my hatred of winter. It is a season after all, doing its part like every other one. Not to mention that it is the proud owner of Christmas, my favorite Holiday by far. So I have begun to wonder if maybe I have been a little too hard on winter, maybe it’s not as unkind as I think.
Winter was once described to me as a beautiful portrait of God’s grace. It’s a season of very little obvious beauty, no budding flowers, no warm breezes, no cool rains. Nothing is growing through the winter. It’s almost as though life has stopped. But underneath the frozen ground, bulbs are nestled, waiting for the right moment to grow, trees stand naked and strong though they shiver and sway. Although it seems as though nothing is happening, the whole world is preparing for spring. Beauty is coming.
Winter is like those seasons in our life that seem hopeless and empty. We wander them looking for any sign of life, wondering if it will ever end, begging for answers. Sometimes we don’t get them. Later on in our lives it may all come together in a way that makes sense, sometimes it won’t. But regardless, out of the cold and barren places comes beauty. The naked trees grow new leaves, the flowers begin to sprout up from the ground, the snow melts, and there’s grass once again.
Now looking at winter, the season I have so despised, I can’t help but feel as if it is smarter than the others. It knows the power of hope in a way that no other season can; its lesson is far greater than the ones that the other seasons could teach. Winter reminds us of Christ, His presence in the emptiness, His plan for all the beauty to come, and His power in every moment.