I am fascinated by changing seasons. I love watching the trees go from green to orange before falling off and then budding anew. I love seasons in the world around me, but I have always disliked the changing of seasons within me. I like constants. I like knowns. But in life, we don’t get the privilege of knowing the seasons end or the seasons ahead. We live in the waiting, the unknowns feeling like our only constant.
Right now I am knee deep in the waiting, the wondering, the constant unknowns, the unpredictability of the future. Seasons with people are shifting. The season of my heart is changing. The blueprint of seasons ahead are locked tight. It all looks and feels as bleak as a January morning. Maybe you are in the same place…
Maybe you are waiting for your miracle after watching friend after friend experience theirs and you’re wondering why them? Why not me?
Maybe healing — emotional, physical, spiritual — is what you’re waiting for and you can’t help but ask how much longer?
Maybe you’re waiting to feel something again, for the fog of depression or grief to lift, so you can see the world again.
Maybe you’re waiting for the day when you can love yourself for real and not wear a smiling mask to hide the brokenness below.
Maybe you’re waiting for someone to notice you, notice your pain, your past, your very presence and as you wait you start believing you aren’t worth waiting for.
Maybe you are anxiously waiting for a phone call, a next step, a sign in the sky, anything to point you towards your purpose and you are getting frustrated.
Maybe you’re waiting to understand, waiting for your life, your circumstances and experiences to make sense. Waiting to see the good in it all, in hopes that then your hurt and anger will go away.
Maybe you don’t know what you’re waiting for, but you feel the weight of it anyway.
The question I’ve been throwing around lately is this — what do we do in seasons of waiting, seasons of winter?
I’ll tell you what I do. I doubt. I get discouraged. I feel hurt or angry. I try to do something, anything to fill the winter and speed up the waiting. I get impatient and contentment escapes me. Perhaps you do the same.
As I did all of these things listed above in the span of a prayer, the Holy Spirit did His thing — His gentle, earth-shattering thing — and whispered words like warm breath to frosty fingers. REMEMBER. Remember. remember.
Remember My word. Remember My presence. Remember all of my faithfulness to you. Remember all of my truth for you. Remember who I am.
With these words came a picture of trees, barren in the height of winter. Surrounded by snow, no spring in sight. In that state, do they doubt that spring will come? Do they question the timing of their creator? Do they live in fear, forgetting the harvest they just had? No, no they remember. They remember the fulfillment of the harvest. They remember the spring joy. They remember the summer freedom. They recognize winters importance, yet know it will not last.
Trees remember, so they wait. They wait all winter, saving their energy, for the spring growth that is to come. And it is in their waiting that they are prepared for the coming seasons. They don’t know when, but they trust and they wait.
For in the wintery waiting one thing holds true — the spring WILL come. It always does. And when spring finally comes your winter, your waiting, will make sense in the light of God’s glory.
God is the God of seasons — ALL seasons. Meaning He is as much the God of spring as of winter. Know that your waiting does not go unnoticed. He will come through, the sun will melt the snow, things will bloom again.
But in the meantime, you and I must dare believe that God knows what we need in THIS season. We must trust that His timing is better than our own and that He is still working, even in the wintery waiting.
Often times it’s in the seasons of waiting, of nothingness, surrounded by endless snow, that we are able to see the hand of God most vividly. He stands out amidst the barren winter background. And we are forced to face Him — shivering, uncertain, fearful — but face to face with our Father. And is there truly any safer, sweeter place to be?
These words won’t expedite the spring. They won’t change where you are. They certainly haven’t changed where I am. But they have reminded me to remember.
And in remembering I have come face to face again with the person of Jesus Christ — the unchanging, constant, faithful friend in every season I have walked through.
Remembering Him doesn’t change where I am, but it changes WHO I am in this place.
I pray remembering Him, His face, His character, His warmth, changes who you are in your season of wintery waiting.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.