My winter of pain has left me weary in body, mind, and spirit. Distracted, unfocused, I have little energy, enthusiasm and motivation. Things that gave me pleasure are now ho-hum. Depressed? Probably. But somehow I muddle through each day, trying to squeeze out joy where I can.
And it’s been a winter like no other in my life. Not only was it filled with physical pain, it also was draped with bitter disappointment after projects I’d poured my heart and soul into came to nothing.
I was shaking out the kitchen throw rugs on the back porch last Thursday after supper when I saw them—little white flowers poking up through the ground at the woods line behind the house.
Although the grass is still brown, the trees bare, the temperatures cool and the scenery drab, those little flowers gave me something I sore needed—a shot of hope. They tell me that soon the grass will be turning green, buds will appear on the trees and shrubs, the mud will dry up and maybe, just maybe, a song will plant itself in my heart. And, oh, how I need a song!
St. Paul understood seasons of pain and disappointment, too.
“We now have this light shining in our hearts,” he wrote the believers at Corinth, “but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. . . .
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:7, 8-9, 16-18 NLT).
Slowly, the dawn will wash the night from the morning sky earlier and earlier, and the sun will hang over the horizon longer in the evenings after supper—which is why I was able to see those little white flowers.
Life is the same way. We brave our way through the winter, waiting, knowing, no matter how bad winter is, it will give way to spring. And spring will give way to summer. The grass will not always be brown. The lane will not remain muddy. The pain will pass, the disappointment will give way to hope.
Ah, spring! The mop-up-after-winter season. The season of flowers. The season of hope.
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in You, God! I will praise You again—my Savior and my God! (adapted from Psalm 42:5 NLT). Amen.
Special-Tea: Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
|When I first spied the snowdrops, there were more than one, but the hungry country critters found them. (sigh)|