Winter is long in Canada. Dreadfully long.
Frosty days well below freezing cause fingers and toes to tingle, and our breath forms icicles on eyelashes. Darkness settles across the land at the time families gather at the dinner table, and it lingers long after the house is roused in the morning. Long months of snow and ice force people indoors, while storms cancel schools and other activities. The long, cold fingers of winter stretch across the calendar, and by March we’re all yearning for a hint of spring in the air.
I’m ready for a new season.
The recent seasons of difficulty our family has trudged through, like snow up to our knees, have been like a winter that’s stayed far past its welcome. Almost two years ago, we huddled around a freshly dug grave and lowered the body of my mother into the warming earth. Her death was far too sudden and quite unexpected. As I fumbled through the unpredictable storms of grief that followed, I was carried by a God who proved Himself to be completely sovereign and undeniably good.
God uses seasons of grief to reveal the unwavering hope we have in Christ.
The shock and finality of death prompts us to take inventory of our priorities and recognize how truly fragile life is. As a result, we determine to squeeze the most out of our days as we squeeze those we love the most.
But this season of grief also led to a season of fear. Just when I thought the storms of grief were giving way to calm hope, I found myself sitting in a doctor’s office, and I heard that word that no one ever wants to hear — cancer. The icy clutch of fear caused my husband and I to cling to one another in the dark of night. When I couldn’t sleep, I would tip-toe downstairs and immerse my mind in the truth of God’s Word.
Through the tests, surgery, and months of recovery that followed, I was cradled by a God who was still sovereign and still good.
God uses season of fear to increase our faith. As we take our eyes off the swirling storm and fix them on His face, fear is conquered by perfect love, and our faith grows.
Then the season of fear led to a season of waiting.
In recent weeks, the doctors have found another lump. Now, I find myself in a restless season of waiting — waiting for test results — not unlike waiting for the first signs of spring. But again, I am held by a God who is absolutely sovereign and unquestionably good.
God uses seasons of waiting to teach us to turn our worries into prayers. As circumstances slip inevitably beyond our control, God reminds us He is still on the throne, which is exactly where we can boldly come to find mercy and grace in our time of waiting.
Yes, winter has been long. But then this morning, as I stepped outdoors, I smelled it . . . that familiar hint of spring in the air. The dark, cold winter has finally given way to the warm light of hope for a new season. The snow has released its grasp, melting away in sweet surrender to the rays of the sun.
Even while my circumstances remain difficult, winter is giving way to spring in my life too.
Regardless of test results, and the fear-inducing what-ifs of tomorrow, I’m determined to allow the Son to melt away the darkness of grief, the icy grip of fear, and the swirling anxiety of the unknown.
I will lean into the light.
You see, our circumstances are merely external details. God can bring hope even if our situation never changes. In the meantime, we must make the most of this present season, focusing on the greater reality of what God is doing in and through us. Spring will come.
Are you prepared to leave the darkness behind and lean into the light? Are you ready for your winter to surrender to spring? Your situation may not change, but God can interrupt any dark season with the brilliance of His glory.