The Midwest has endured a very cold, snowy winter this year. There were days that were so cold, you wouldn’t even have tried to venture outside. Just the thought of the cold wind beating against my body kept me inside. Somedays, I did brave the cold to take my dogs outside for a little run or my kids outside to sled. Brrr. My miserably cold body shivered as I watched the two groups in the cold weather. They played and jumped all around. My kids and my dogs love the outdoors –even in the cold. The dogs especially cannot get enough of the squirrels and the birds and the bunnies jumping all around us. It made me think; I can bundle up and enjoy the cold too. I can find joy in the winter. It wasn’t easy, but if I could just get passed the cold…
Of course, I am still praying that Spring will show up soon, after all it is April. Maybe Spring was just a mindset. Did it really mean that warm 70 degree days must exist in Spring? I guess not, because it was exciting when the day reached above 30 degrees.
Springtime actually means an early or flourishing stage of development. It really doesn’t say it has to be warm. It just needs to be the developing stage of Summer.
My personal “Springtime” is when I first learned about Jesus. I sprouted little buds of knowledge and continued to produce beauty out of what was dead in my life. The seasons reflect my faith journey very well. I have a wonderful growth in my faith (Spring), it blossoms and blooms and creates a beautiful warm feeling inside of me (Summer), then I turn to sin and things start to fall apart (Fall). It is when I lose myself to sin that everything deadens. I shrivel up and turn away from all those who are trying to help me. I hide from the light (Winter). The great thing about seasons is they are circular. I always have the chance to turn away from sin and start again in new life. Sometimes I skip Winter all together.
You see, we can hide away all Winter long, but God is still out there waiting for us to Spring back to Him. He loves us so much that He allows us to find our way back once again. So, when I noticed my dog and kids enjoying Winter, I realized that I can do that too. I can skip over feeling dead inside to sin and turn back to the light. I can let go of stress and burdens and return to God. I have the ability to change the season at any time. I can choose to be miserable and sad living in the dark, cold winter OR I can choose to be joyful and see the light of Spring.
We all fall into the traps of feeling sorry for ourselves. We get trapped in that “Winter” frame of mind and make ourselves believe that Spring will never return. We find “Winter” to be lonely and depressing. “Spring” looks so far away, we just cannot seem to reach it.
That is so far from the truth. “Spring” is waiting for us. We have to open our hearts and minds to God. We have to allow God to strengthen us to release our attitude of misery and open our heart to our attitude of gratitude.