For everything there is a season, a chosen time for every activity under heaven. (NLT)
Winter, ˈwɪntə/ noun: A period of inactivity or decay. The coldest of the seasons.
Converse with anyone that knows me, and they’ll tell you that my absolute favourite season is the Summer time. The days get longer, drinks get cooler, sleeves get shorter and the weather gets warmer! What’s not to love? But with the same passion I love the summer, comes my intense dislike for the winter months. Although I am a jacket/coat hoarder, I am not remotely a winter person. It takes seconds for me to be freezing cold, I have ONE pair of jeans that aren’t ripped, and there is something about going to work when it is dark, and leaving work when it is dark that just doesn’t sit well with me. Personally, if I dislike something, I will deem it unnecessary. I have subconsciously approached winter over the years with the set opinion that it is the season I just must ‘get through’, a period of time that I can get nothing out of. A collection of days standing between me and my summer.
I think that this is easily done with the seasons of our life, metaphorically speaking, we relish the spring and the summer, we spend our autumn dreading the commencement of winter, and when winter eventually arrives? We are a shadow of the person that we were during the summer months. Winter is cold, its dark and its barren, and nothing seems to grow. Its easier to feel hidden and disconnected. You can get to a place where you feel like the ONLY thing getting you through, is the promise of the summer, the knowledge that this season will not last forever, and drawing on reserves stored from summers passed. I don’t know about you, but I rarely stop in the winter to consider that there could be a reason for all this? What is the reason for the winter season?
This is an extract I took from a children’s book about farming: (it explained more about the importance of the winter than anything else I found, and I have put in bold the phrases that stood out for me)
‘After the summer growing season and the autumn harvest, the farmer is not as busy in the fields but there still is plenty of work to be done. Cows, and other milking animals, still need to be milked every day. Farm animals depend on the farmer more in winter for their food, and they may need to eat more to stay warm. By December, farmers have moved their animals indoors to protect them from the cold weather. This means there is more cleaning to be done indoors to keep old food, bedding, and manure from building up. In the winter, farmers think about the past year and make plans for the next season. This time of year, the farmer makes repairs to the farm equipment, buildings and tools. These need to be ready in time for spring and for the new growing season.
This to me, is the perfect picture of how God, a perfect heavenly father, intended us to view the winter months we walk through. He wants us to depend on him more, where it seems that there is less. You could be feeling hidden and unseen, just as a farmer does, maybe God has brought you ‘indoors’ to protect you from the cold. Could it be that God wants you to let go of some things during the winter to prevent a build up of stuff that will hinder you in other seasons? You may have to work harder to smile in these seasons, but you can do it. He wants us to think about previous seasons, and make plans for the future, don’t stop yourself from looking forward, winter will not last forever. Use this season, of hiding, replenishing, and nourishing to repair your tools that have been damaged from toil, so you are ready again for the seasons to come.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, for everything there is a season, a chosen time for every activity under heaven. (NLT). So, if you are in the winter right now, search for God in it. Search for the love of the only one who knows exactly where you are, and why you need to be there, He hasn’t got it wrong before, He will not start with you. He sees you, even in the winter.