I love Springtime. After months of barrenness, everywhere you look there’s evidence of new life bursting forth. Following a long, cold, hard winter, hope springs forth. New life begins to break through!
You may live in an area, as I do, where you don’t witness the dramatic seasonal changes; however, we all experience changing life seasons. Some happy, some fruitful, but other seasons will be sad, barren, dark and cold.
When our lives feel “dead” on the inside and there is no evidence of growth, no budding of life, how do we melt the frost crusting over our heart? Where do we go to find enough sunlight to help us pierce through the dark clouds shrouding around us?
Perhaps you’re currently in a wintery season, desperately hoping for brighter days and clearer skies. If so, Isaiah’s message is for you, my friend…
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; 2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. 3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!,… Isaiah 35:1-4 ESV
I love how Isaiah uses a crocus blossoming abundantly as his illustration. The crocus is among one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. In fact, crocuses are known to thrive in late winter and early spring because they’re hearty enough to break through frost and bloom even in light snow.
I want my life to resemble the heartiness, yet hopeful beauty of the crocus. A life that can endure winter and emerge to blossom without any evidence of the harsh climate it pushed through to bloom. A life that perseveres through wilderness and dryness to experience joy and singing once again.
Don’t discredit the hidden potential of winter. Buried treasures can be found there.
In fact, winter prepares the way for spring.
Wintery seasons will come. Seasons of loss, discouragement, fear and isolation.
But you can be sure of this – no season lasts forever. Winters will come and go, just as the fresh loveliness of spring will come and go.
When I look back at “wintery” seasons in my life, there’s something in me that wants to forget those painful seasons – to erase them from my memory, blow past them, dismiss them as a waste of my time. I don’t want to dig up the dark storms, lonely nights or relationships gone cold.
It’s easier to focus on the “happier”, more pleasant seasons – seasons of fruitfulness, warmth, clear skies and sunshine.
Yet, I’ve noticed that God has brought some of my greatest seasons of fruitfulness out of my wintery seasons.
Out of the frozen, dry ground, new life appears. On the bare trees, buds begins to bloom and once again, we begin to feel the warmth of the sunshine on our face, flowing through our bodies.
God has the power to bring beauty out of our brokenness.
Our lives have the incredible ability to flourish after a famine. New life can and will spring forth from the cold, hard lifeless ground. It’s hard to embrace the warmth and joy of spring when you’re winter has seemed unrelenting.
Perhaps you’re feeling as if your life is in a wintery season. Take heart, your life will bloom again. Spring will come and you’ll experience new life in a new season.
As Isaiah reminds us, “Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not!”. Don’t lose heart. Persevere through the winter, trust God’s presence to be with you and strengthen you.
You may be asking, “How do I begin to move forward? What do I do during my wintery days?” Here are a couple of things I’ve found helpful.
- Reach out to God. Dig into his word and allow the roots of your life to be developed in Him, not in your circumstances. Allow God to use this barren season to draw you closer to Him. It’s often in our most desperate, darkest times when God grows our faith and we learn to depend on Him.
- Remember the promises of God. Never doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light. Wintery seasons aren’t absent of God’s presence and they don’t discredit God’s faithfulness in the past. This season will end. You will get through it.
He will make your life bloom again. He is faithful.
The temperature will rise, the ground will thaw and the beauty of new life will begin to bud.