When God Has You in Winter

I think it's safe to say that no matter where you're reading this, it's cold. Maybe you're in your house with a fire going. Maybe you've adjusted the thermostat by a few degrees. Maybe you're looking at a yard of snow. Whatever it looks like, I'm sure it's something like dry air and bone chilling winds and wool socks and parkas. 

I don't like the cold. The only reason I like winter at all is because I love hand-knit socks and sweaters and an excuse to wear leggings in my everyday life. Yeah, I'm that girl. But outside of that, winter sucks. The cold slows my motivation. I find it hard to be productive. I get cranky. 

And you know what I hate the most about winter? Sorry friends, but it's the snow. Up close, it's cold and wet and dangerous and slippery and just all around awful. But from afar? It's magical and glittering and when it lays undisturbed, peaceful. 

I think we look at life this way sometimes. When others go through hard times, we can see the magic in it. We see God moving. We see Him working for good. We see darkness being brought out into light, and we want to celebrate that. 

But when we go through hard things ourselves, it feels ugly and dark and, well, hard. We don't immediately see how God will be glorified. We can't always recognize his tenderness in rooting out the darkness in our hearts. What we feel is pain. 

Yet in the midst of this pain, if we know Christ, we know there is hope. 

Hal Borland, a writer for the New York Times, said, "No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."

I'm reminded of this when I feel like I'm in the middle of a figurative winter, when my soul feels depleted. I'm reminded of all the times in the Bible that God remained faithful to his people. Yes, they walked through the wilderness, but they reached the promised land. Naomi lost her husband and her sons, but she gained a friend in Ruth and her story was redeemed by God. David and Bathsheba lost their child, but they were later given the gift of Solomon. 

Our hope is in God's faithfulness, in the fact that we know He keeps his promises. His character is steady, regardless of our circumstances. He is unchanging. 

 At church a few weeks ago, I was reminded of the following verse:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
— Hebrews 4:15-16

We can approach God with our struggles with confidence, knowing that he can relate. He, too, was tempted by Satan, was subject to the enemy's cruelness. And so we can lay our brokenness before him, the parts of us that are frozen, and His mercy and grace will thaw them. 

If God has you in winter right now, know that I am praying peace and hope into your situation. I'm holding onto this verse for you, for myself. God's peace is supernatural and overwhelming. His light chases out the darkness. He has already overcome the world.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
— Romans 15:13

After winter comes a glorious spring.

New life. New hope. Same God. 

Morgan CoynerComment