The March calendar announces that spring will be here within a few weeks, but only time will reveal if there is evidence that shows up on the date on the calendar. Winter tends to not let go of her control easily during this month.
Even if we see the sun more often and hear birdsong early in the morning as the month marches forward, most days will be overcast. There will be rain and snow will be no stranger, sometimes giving us a display we missed for Christmas.
Recent storms leave lawns littered with branches and limbs pruned by the windy gusts. Those same gusts resurrect leftover fall leaves from wherever they were hidden and swirl them around garage doors and patios.
The best homes in the neighborhood look strained from the wintry months. Paint looks dingier and windows no longer gleam as they wear the grime left from winter’s weather combos. Shrubbery is broken down in places snow rested too heavily or too long. Grass still hides its greenery under the dun color evident now.
Winter also reveals the weakness of a house and the land it sets on. No one notices the roof’s leaky shingles or the clogged downspouts in the month of June. Parts of the foundation are now visible that are hidden when the grass is lush and green and an array of flowers appears in the landscape.
Winter tries and tests the condition of a house and property. Winter’s wear and tear exposes the truth in March. Only heavy snow (if it comes) can hide the weaknesses winter’s months make known.
I think our lives are sometimes a bit like March when the beauty of Christmas has passed, but the hope of spring has not yet come.
It is in a wintry hard season that we are tested and our vulnerabilities are uncovered. Whatever the season brings us, reminds us we are mortal. The season brings to light our mettle.
It is in winter we learn or rediscover the strength of our beliefs, our relationships, our stewardship, and our character. A wintry hard season strips us of the façade we may think of as real and that others believe is the truth of who we are. This season shuts up our quick solutions and easy answers because they point to how empty they can be.
Such a season prunes us of the things that are unnecessary and reminds us of what is vital. Such a season awakens an appetite for only what truly nourishes our souls and only words that speak life.
It is now we find out the source and depth of our faith and those on whom we can count. It is now we see clearly even though the gray murky weather would suggest otherwise.
Wintry seasons gift us with understanding that sustains us for the unexpected storms of spring and summer. Wintry seasons shore up our priorities and point us to what is crucial that carefree summer days never do. Wintry seasons unveil what the showy displays of summer and autumn conceal in their vibrant colors.
Wintry seasons can also quiet our souls so we can hear the whispers of the Lord more easily. No sunshine entices us outdoors so we may linger in prayer or the Word a bit longer. We can bask in the warmth of the Lord’s presence and rekindle intimacy with Him.
We think of summer as the growing season, but the truth is that it is in the winter that we grow.
Hard wintry seasons weather us, develop endurance, and cause the roots of our faith to burrow wider and deeper into the truth it brings to light.
Sometime soon crocuses will peek above the cold wintry soil and daylight will linger into the evening, but for now I will enjoy the gifts late winter have deposited in my life.
3 But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. 4 And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. 5 And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!”
Romans 5: 3-5 (TPT)