Sometimes I wonder how my plants feel in that first deep freeze.
When all their leaves fall and they are left exposed and vulnerable- their former beauty just a memory.
Some seem to die completely- all the new growth of this past season has disappeared and the spot it once inhabited sits empty.
Do they despair and lose sight of spring?
In their present anguish do they forget the hope of a new season yet to come?
I feel like my plants now.
Raw, stripped bare- vulnerable.
Uncertain of a coming spring.
And I remember times when I have lost hope before in these winters.
My Bible collects dust on the shelf.
Hope gets hidden away, and I don’t search for it.
The words of David bring comfort as he shares his own struggles.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Even in the winter months, the roots grow deeper.
While all that is visible seems dead, growth is happening just below the surface.
When God doesn’t feel close, that doesn’t mean He’s not there.
Not all spiritual seasons are the same- but change comes to us all in different ways- God uses our unique circumstances to shape us.
Not all seasons are like spring- where there is a rush of visible new growth and new buds and blooms seem to pop up everywhere.
Sometimes we feel like the trees losing their leaves in fall- we are being pruned and losing parts of ourselves and it’s painful.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
I find comfort in the truth that our God is the same- yesterday, today, and forever. And though in some seasons I may sense His presence near while in others He may seem distant- that does not change the truths we can cling to in God’s Word to us.
His promises are true in all seasons- in joy and sorrow, in strength and weakness, in hope and despair.
He is always near.
And I take comfort in that when my soul feels isolated and cold this winter. I remember what I “feel” is not truth.
I can speak truth to my soul and choose to rest on the rock that is my Savior and God. To believe in His promises even when my feelings are misplaced.
I pray that wherever you may be today- in whatever season you find yourself- you will hold on to the truth of who our God is- and trust that whatever you are facing- wherever you may be…
our God is near.
He is Emmanuel- God with us.
Oh Lord, thank you for never leaving us nor forsaking us. Thank you for sending your Son- for reconciling us to yourself and redeeming us. We are your children- heirs- sons and daughters of the King. What all-surpassing joy fills my soul when I remember how much you love me. It hurts to not feel you near in this season. I miss that consciousness of you close- the peace that it brought- how you dispelled my loneliness. Instead of despairing for loss of that season Lord, I pray that I will accept the changes that this season has brought and continue to seek you. That I will be faithful to your calling upon my life through all the changing seasons. Even when I cannot see growth Lord, help me to cling to your Word that I might not lose hope. That I would hold eternity close to my heart and treasure all the gifts that you graciously bestow each day. Thank you that you never change- that I can always count on you to keep your promises. I praise you- my refuge. To who else could I go? You have all that I am looking for- my hope and salvation is in You alone. All praise and glory is yours forevermore. In Jesus Name, Amen.