And I'm going to keep saying that because I am still looking forward to spring, but I won't disdain winter any longer. Today I read in Job 12:8, "Speak to the earth, and let it teach you."
I've been like a snarky teenager sitting in class who refuses to listen because she has to be in a class she didn't choose. So I said instead, 'Winter, teach me."
It was if an old, discouraged teacher suddenly sat up with a smile. Finally, a pupil who wanted to listen!
What did he teach me? I received four lessons this morning. The first one is one I've heard others talk about, but the other three were new ones to me in the context of winter. Then again, maybe they are all lessons we know but winter gives us a physical illustration of lessons we need to learn over and over.
Here is what winter taught me this morning:
First, snow covers everything like grace covers us. Snow can make the whole world beautiful, even the ugly parts. This is a picture of grace in us. When grace covers us even our not-so-pretty parts look fresh and alive and holy.
Second, winter reminds us there are seasons of rest and inactivity. This is a good thing. When we fight against these seasons of rest we do it to our own peril (and sometimes we endanger others when we ignore this). At the very least we wear ourselves out. We can end up killing ourselves fighting against the rest God imposed.
Third, winter is ordained by God, but God puts limits on it. Every season in our lives has limits. No season will last forever. Good or bad.
And finally, even if we don't like winter we need times of rest, extended times of rest. They are useful to us personally. We might not be able to see or even know why we need still times, but God is doing something in the stillness, in the darkness, in the cold.
Thank Teacher Winter for his lessons. He doesn't have to be our favorite teacher (though he is some people's favorite teacehr). We just need to listen when he is speaking. I'm sure there are all sorts of other lessons he wants to share (like beauty can be deadly), but class today is done.
Thank you Father for your seasons. And thank you Father we know winter is given just a few months to impose its rest on the land before spring bursts through the door.
Stay safe anyone.