Opening Our Eyes to the Beauty and Value of Winter When Our Hearts Feel Weary Of It

Is your heart weary of winter? Is your spirit sagging?

Severe cold has filled our February. And the forecast is for more of it this month. It makes us wonder if spring will ever come. On Sunday, I woke to 16 below and 35 below wind chill. It never even got above zero all day!

It’s hard not to get discouraged, isn’t it?

It helps me to intentionally open my eyes and heart to the beauty and value of winter.

Those fluffy flakes gently flowing down are so beautiful. And I’m awed that even in subzero temps, the sun’s power still melts the snow on the roofs enough to form uniquely shaped icicles.

Untrodden snow also amazes me. So white and pure. Sparkling like diamonds when the sun shines. Inspiring a deeper longing to be clean and white in Jesus, to be sparkling with His love and shining it forth to others.

“Purify me from my sins,
and I will be clean;

wash me,
and I will be whiter than snow.”
Psalm 51:7 NLT
“Come, let‚Äôs talk this over,
says the Lord;
no matter how deep
the stain of your sins,
I can take it out
and make you as clean
as freshly fallen snow.
Even if you are stained
as red as crimson,
I can make you
white as wool!”
Isaiah 1:18 TLB

I’m grateful I still can take nature photos from inside our warm home! ūüôā We planted this globe evergreen tree in between our neighbor’s and our condos two years ago. We love looking out at the green of it and how the snow forms on it.

This is after a lot of snow. We call it our cake. ūüôā

I can never find one icicle identical to another. These are tiny compared to what we saw Sunday on a program in Alaska. Thirty foot icicles that are five feet thick!


This photo isn’t clear, and it certainly doesn’t do justice to what we saw. The sun was reflecting off droplets hanging from this tree, making it look like Christmas lights!

This sun dog was awesome! I wasn’t able to get the other side of it from our bedroom window. My husband saw both sides of it earlier as the sun rose, and he said it was so beautiful.

Winter not only brings beauty. It is also essential to new growth in the spring. Though the tree branches look dead and barren, their roots are growing and gathering nutrients to deliver to and strengthen the new leaves to come.

Winter of the soul can benefit us, too. Those times when losses and trials devastate us. When our hearts feel cold and lifeless. When we wonder – Where are You, God?

Those times can be brutal and debilitating, but they are necessary to deepen and strengthen our roots in Christ Jesus. Roots growing down into Him draw up much-needed nourishment for our spiritual growth. 

“And now just as you trusted Christ to save you,
trust Him, too, for each day’s problems;
live in vital union with Him.

Let your roots grow down into Him
and draw up nourishment from Him.
See that you go on growing in the Lord,
and become strong and vigorous
in the truth you were taught.
Let your lives overflow with joy
and thanksgiving for all He has done.”
Colossians 2:6-7 TLB

Though it does help me to open my eyes to the value of winter, I still long for spring. My heart yearns to be able to be out in nature and all its sights, sounds, and smells again. To feel the sun warming and thawing cold bones. As it gets nearer, I anticipate the sighting of a robin like an eager child hankering to open a long-awaited gift. Can I open it NOW?

There is something about spring that refreshes the spirit, isn’t there? To see the promising new life on the trees and perennials pushing through the soil. To watch the newborn calves and lambs kicking up their heels in the pastures. To hear the joyful chorus of birds.

Our spirits may sag when winters seem to drag on, but spring and revival WILL come, all the more refreshing and renewing after a barren winter. That’s a promise. God’s promise.

“As long as the earth remains,
there will be
springtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
winter and summer,
day and night.”
Genesis 8:22 TLB

Perhaps it’s a different season in your country right now or you live in warmer states or countries where there is no snow or cold. What are your winters like? When you’re weary of winter, what helps you get through it? Whether it’s winter in nature or in your soul? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Seasons
by Hillsong

“Though the winter is long even richer
The harvest it brings
Though my waiting prolongs even greater
Your promise for me like a seed
I believe that my season will come…”

God’s Love Outweighs Our Troubles

A woman afflicted with brain cancer lies in a hospital bed. She smiles and holds two thumbs up. How can she possibly do that?

As long as we are on this earth, chronic or terminal illnesses will refuse to retreat, difficulties with family or friends will still induce pain, and losses will continue to cause heart-rending grief.

How can we possibly go through these dark valleys? How can we possibly¬†give our burdens over into God’s hands? How can we possibly give God a two-thumbs up when circumstances around us “feel” like He has deserted us?

It’s about faith and trust. Do we believe we have a heavenly Father Who loves us so much that He only has our best interests at heart? Do we trust that God always has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us? That no matter what happens, He will always carry us through? Do we believe and trust that God will never allow anything to happen to us unless it is for our eternal welfare and our spiritual growth in Him?

Think of a balancing scale with¬†burdens on one side and hope on the other. We are prone to fill up the BURDENS’ tray first. Clunk! Clunk! Clunk! Down to where the tray hits the bottom of gloom and doom. But wait…¬†Let’s not forget the HOPE side.¬†Cast in the everlasting love, endless compassion, and faithfulness of a heavenly Father Who has said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31) Sproing! And flip! There go the burdens.

Our troubles are nothing compared to¬†the weight of God’s matchless, unconditional love – a love that knows what’s best for us and will always carry us through the tough spots. Two-Thumbs-Up to God! He knows what He is doing.

Soon the darkness¬†will give way to morning light.¬†“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (II Corinthians 4:17) Josh Wilson sings of this promise in “Before the Morning” – “Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling, it¬†can’t compare to the joy that’s coming…”