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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Inspired by . . . Winter's Bite

Jack Frost is visiting again. The air feels like a million tiny pinpricks against my face. Ah, yes, now the wind. It takes pleasure in whipping my hair into my eyes, blinding me. Not a delightful tease like it's sister winds, spring and summer. No, winter's wind carries a kife. And it can cut us deep.

My dad died in the winter. Three years ago. My perpetual calendar will forever be set on February 3rd. We didn't expect to lose him. The days leading up to February 4th were a haze of hospital rooms, rehab centers and, finally, a nursing home where we had hoped . . . 

But that hope was not realized.

Dad could have died amidst the blazing heat of July on a day when the sun shone it's brightest and still, those days would have been winter in my soul.

Winter is not just a season on the calendar. All of you know this. For all of you have, I can type this with 99.9% certainty, experienced a spiritual winter. Feeling numb to the world around you. Feeling the loss of a person, a dream, or perhaps even losing a bit of yourself. Worst of all, feeling separated from God.

A long walk in a seemingly desolate valley.

I say seemingly because it is during this time that God teaches us so much and so tenderly. You see, during much of our desert walk, God carries us. Sadly, we often don't recognize the feeling of His arms around us or the sound of His whisper in our ear. We are too consumed by our pain. Too focused on our feelings. 

Pain and feelings are temporal things. Things of this world. Gradually, if we continue to keep our eyes fixed on Him, the temporal things fade and we will be ready to receive all that He has for us.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2Co 4:16-18)
The bite of the wind and the heaviness of heart that comes this time of year is a reminder of that winter. It's good to remember our valleys. Because, although I didn't know then that God was carrying me through that dark, lonely time, I know it now. And it points me to a future hope, one that is sure.

[H]aving the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe,  (Eph 1:18-19)

If God has taught you something in the valley that you think will benefit others, please share.


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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June