Although I live in an area where snow is a mainstay four months out of the year, I hate winter. I love the beauty of the season, but I hate the cold.
In our part of the country, winter is necessary for spring. When blooms fade and plants lay dormant, they are preparing for a new season in their life cycles. When the snow melts and crocuses bloom, we know a new season is coming. A season of fresh starts. A season of new beginnings. A season of renewal.
At the beginning of the year, several doors of opportunity flung wide open for me. My spirits soared to the mountain tops. It’s been an amazing month.
This past week, however, I’ve been discouraged by some challenging situations in my life. I’m feeling helping because there isn’t anything I can do to change these difficulties. I shared my concerns with my Ponderer girls on Friday, and they lifted me up in prayer and encouragement. I’m so blessed by their friendship and love.
My good friend Jo is our pastor’s wife and the assistant pastor at our church. She knows of our circumstances right now and shared this with me via email:
“Winter preserves and strengthens a tree. Rather than expending its strength on the exterior surface, the tree forces its sap deeper into its interior. In winter a tougher, more resilient life is firmly established. Winter is necessary for the tree to survive and flourish.” ~Richard Foster
God is awesome. He is Jehovah Jireh–The Lord will provide. He is Jehovah Rophe–The Lord Who Heals. He is Jehovah Nissi–The Lord Our Banner. He is Jehovah Shalom–The Lord Our Peace.
Why do I allow doubt and discouragement to clutter up my thoughts? I’m human. When God does mighty things, Satan simmers and tries to get a foothold. Instead of rejoicing and clinging to the hope and joy in God, I allowed those negative thoughts to bring me down.
God heard my cry and filled my path, shoulder to shoulder, with incredible friends, who continually encourage me. He showed me in many ways that He hears my cries. Like the tree burdened with snow, I, too, will survive this season and flourish.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. ~Psalm 61:1-2
Your turn: Are you in a season of winter? Discouragement is exhausting. What is weighing you down today? Share so we can pray over you to help strengthen you so you can flourish.