Welcome to Your Winter

It's winter in Massachusetts, the cold Northeast of the United States.

I'm walking trails where I had previously walked during summer. Familiar hidden places are now open, exposed, no longer covered by leaves. What once where side paths and secret places to explore are now visible from the path I'm on.Winter has stripped these little hideaways and off-the-beaten-path trails by stripping away their leafy green coverage. And I feel like I'm seeing my heart.

My heart feels exposed. It is no longer protected or covered by comfort or distraction. It is laid bare. Winter has a way of doing that; I mean the wintry seasons of our lives, of course.

There is beauty in the warmth and full foliage of spring and summer. But there is also beauty in the New England Winters. Pure white snow covers the exposed places. Fresh, crisp air fills my lungs. The air seems clearer. But it is still cold. It feels like something is missing.

God uses the winter of our lives to expose our need; to show us where we really are and who we really are. There is nothing hidden before His eyes. And that's OK, because He's the God who covers. And heals. He shows us our weakness, reveals our failure, lays bare our need. Not to shame; for their is no shame in seeing who we really are. There is no shame in having our weakness open before us. He shows to fix. He reveals to repair. The removal of any false pretense allows God to do His work in our life and to ready us for the spring that is coming.

Winter is God's way of making way for the spring.

As I continue walking down this path, snow crunching under my boots, I hear the cold, dry wind blowing in the treetops. The applause is gone. There is no sound of green leaves catching the warm summer breeze; only the sound of frigid air blowing against leafless wood. The warm summer breeze has left, and green leaves with it. Winter has no applause. Our season of exposure leaves no room for the "Good Job!" or "Wow, love your ministry!" or the praise-filled words we might love to hear. There is only the reminder of how green it isn't, and how much we are in need.

And that's OK. There is no shame in this. Because spring is coming and we are being prepared for it. Lay dormant with content. Allow your winter to do its work. Your spring comes. And when it does, the trees of the field will again clap for joy and the grassy acres will wave in the wind. Your exposed places will come to life.

And your garden will be beautiful.


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