Coming from Australia, summer was my favourite season. I still love summer, but there is something about the winter season that refreshes my heart. Here in Northern California the trees are starting to look stark, the air is crisp, and the landscape looks kind of naked, stripped bare, for everyone to see. The wind whips through the uncovered branches and the rain washes all the leaves and dross away.
Winter for all of us can bring a clarity and freshness of vision. Just like we can see further through the trees, now without their leaves, there is a restored ability to see further that is given to us if we’re willing to look. There is a vulnerability and authenticity that the winter season brings in our lives, if we allow it.
There is a stripping away of all the things we cover ourselves with: maybe it’s busyness, the leaves of protection from guilt or shame,lies that we are believing. ‘I’m not good enough, smart enough, old enough, young enough . . . ‘ Winter is the time when we can allow the wind of the spirit to strip away all those things that encumber us. Will we feel naked? Uncovered? Vulnerable? Perhaps, for while . . .
But then, the snow comes, falling from the sky like floating white slivers of coconut. I can almost imagine God leaning over with his giant sifter full of icing sugar deciding where He is going to sift and shake that sweet white icing next.
There are two things I love about snow. The first is its beauty. It’s like a freshly laundered blanket that has been shaken out and laid over a giant bed. But the thing I love most is the silence. If you listen really, really carefully, you can hear a very quiet gentle swish as the snow is falling and above that – nothing.
It’s in these ‘silent moments’ that we hear the still small voice of our Father. His words are like that freshly laundered blanket, covering us, making us feel safe and warm and clean. His words are reminding us of who we really are. We are finally able to see further than we ever have before.
For years I have heard different people speak on the ‘winter seasons’ of our lives as being a negative, hard and lonely season. Coming from a country that doesn’t really have a ‘winter’, I never realised that many utilise winter as a time of rest and reconstruction as they pause for the springtime to arrive. When we intentionally position ourselves with expectation, and trust Him that He will partner with us to strip us bare and then recover us with His love and His promises, only then are we prepared to enter into the next season of our lives. And Spring will come!
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time . . . (vv. 1-2, 11)
Let’s embrace our winter seasons, trusting God and His promises.
By Kim Beaumont