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’s 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! 🙂 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. 🙂

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…”

From Winter Blues to Spring Joy


After the Winter, God Sends the Spring

by Helen Steiner Rice

Springtime is a season
Of hope and joy and cheer.
There’s beauty all around us
To see and touch and hear.
So, no matter how downhearted
And discouraged we may be,
New hope is born when we behold
Leaves on a budding tree,
Or when we see a timid flower
Push through the frozen sod
And open wide in glad surprise
Its petaled eyes to God,
For this is just God saying,
“Lift up your eyes to Me,
And the bleakness of your spirit,
Like the budding Springtime tree,
Will lose its wintry darkness
And your heavy heart will sing” –
For God never sends the Winter
Without the joy of Spring.

“Spring Is Here Song”

Don’t you just love it?!
I hope this puts a smile in your heart!

Waiting and Longing, Hoping Against Hope

Joy's poem
Joy Lenton – Shared by Permission

As I gazed at the bare, dead-looking trees, an ache squeezed my heart so hard it hurt. Oh, how I long for spring when new life springs forth embracing my heart with hope again. But I have to wait and let winter play its important role…

Waiting… How difficult it must have been in the Bible days to have to wait for the Hope of salvation to be born. How discouraged people must have felt at times waiting and longing, hoping against hope,

When an angel came to Zacharias to announce the birth of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, there had been 400 years of silence from prophets. The last one who prophesied the Savior was Malachi. And it was 300 years before that when Isaiah prophesied:

“All right then, the Lord Himself will give you the sign.
Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son and will call Him
Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).”

Can you imagine the anguish of waiting? Some didn’t even see it happen in this lifetime. What faith they needed to believe He would yet come to be their Savior, too.

Six months after Elizabeth conceived, the angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce the fulfillment of the long-awaited promise of Immanuel – God With Us. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped with joy. The Savior was to be born from Mary!

We are so blessed to already know He has come. But sometimes there can still be longing, aching, waiting times for Christ. Sometimes wondering where He is in our lives. Sometimes aching for His presence – to truly feel Him. Sometimes waiting for unmet longings.

When Jacob was running for his life from his enraged brother Esau, he stopped at Bethel and used a rock as his pillow. He dreamed of a ladder stretching up to heaven with angels ascending and descending it and the Lord Himself at the top. When he woke up, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

Isn’t that what often happens with us? The Lord is ever faithful with His presence. It’s we who are not always aware of it. He was still there when there was 400 years of silence, and He is still here when we feel darkness surrounding us within and without. His fulfillment of His promise is just as steadfast whether it’s night or day. Whether we can “feel” Him or not.

Winters in nature are necessary. Trees look dead without leaves, but the truth is they are alive and growing underneath the surface as long as the ground isn’t too frozen. The nutrients empower the roots in the barren times. The roots grow down deeper and stronger, preparing them for what is to come, more able to suffer times of heat and drought. Longing and waiting for the signs of life again makes us value spring even more.

That’s how it is with spiritual waiting times, too. Our roots need to grow deeper into Christ and His ever-sure promises that He is here even when we can’t “feel” Him. And after the times of longing, waiting, and hoping against hope, we become more alert and aware of the evidences of His presence and the fulfillment to His promises and we appreciate those signs of new life so much more.

“Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” ~ Ephesians 3:17-19

footprints
cutecolorsbutterflyline

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
~ Sung by Barlow Girl

cutecolorsbutterflyline

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