Winter: Yea or Nay?
Ah, winter: perhaps the most controversial of all the seasons. Unlike the others, winter is a season that you either love or hate.
Take my wife, for instance. She has multiple health issues, including arthritis, which is aggravated by the cold, precipitation, and changes in barometric pressure. My wife hates the effects of winter. For her it is a season that increases her physical pain.
On the other hand, I’m one of those people who generally enjoy winter. I like the colder temperatures (I’ll take that over summer heat and humidity any day). I enjoy the beauty of newly fallen snow and the glistening of ice crystals. And when I was teaching, I definitely appreciated the mental health break that a snow day off from school provided!
Others enjoy the outdoor activities that winter provides: skating, sledding, skiing, even snow angels and snowmen and snowball fights. (I’m more of an indoor enthusiast myself. Give me hot cocoa, a comfy chair and a good book and I’m content).
Still, I have to admit that I don’t like stretches of gray, overcast days, because they sometimes trigger depression for me. Thankfully, my daughter-in-law gifted me a small lightbox, which definitely helps (if you are subject to seasonal affective disorder, I highly recommend this light therapy).
What about you? Are you yea or nay on winter?
Let’s take a brief look at some Bible verses regarding this season.
The first mention of winter in the Bible is in Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” This tells us that winter is part of the cycles of nature that God put in place. Psalm 74:17 says, “You have set all the borders of the earth; you have made summer and winter.” Seasons are part of God’s plan, and that includes winter. God created it, God designed it, God has a purpose for it.
If you’re someone who dislikes winter, you may not like hearing this. But Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under heaven.” As with every season, God has a purpose for winter. To discover that, we need to take a closer look.
God’s Purpose in Winter
What exactly is winter? Winter is a season that is distinct from the others. It is a season of cold, a time when the temperatures plummet. A need is created for warmth, for protective shelter from the elements. In such times we recognize that we require a refuge. Psalm46:1 states, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Winter points out our need to stay close to God.
Winter is also a good reminder that we are not in control. There are many things we can change, but the weather is not one of them. Job 37:6 points out, “For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth;’ likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.” God controls the winds and the waves– and the snow. God is in control, and that’s a good thing.
But God also expects us to do our part. Since winter is part of the natural cycle, we know that it is coming. There are things we can do to ensure that we stay warm and safe. Proverbs 20:4 warns, “The lazy man will not plow because of winter; he will beg during harvest and have nothing.” It is wise to prepare for the future. This applies not only to our physical needs, but our spiritual needs as well. Some seasons of life are more difficult than others. What are you doing to nurture your relationship with God?
Winter has a beauty all its own. But danger can lie within beauty. Snow and ice are beautiful, but they can also be deadly. This reminds us of the dangers of sin, and emphasizes the previous point. Snow will come, and so will temptations. You need to be prepared for that. Renew your mind with the Word of God, clothe yourself with the armor of God, listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible is Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Snow is used here as a metaphor for purity and forgiveness. God’s mercy, like snow, is a beautiful thing!
Another factor of winter– perhaps the greatest– is that it is a season of waiting. Animals migrate or hibernate or take shelter. Frost kills the upper plant growth, and the earth lies dormant. The bare trees and gray overcast skies produce a bleak landscape. By outward appearances, it is a season of inactivity. It’s a season of waiting– and oh, how we hate waiting!
But don’t be deceived– God is still at work. There is a reason for this season. “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater” (Isaiah 55:10). The waters from melting snow prepare the earth for the arrival of the next season and new life.
This is not only true in nature. It is true in the seasons of life as well. Some seasons are full of activity, while other seasons in your life may appear dead. You may think nothing is happening. You may even feel as if you’re slowly dying inside. But don’t place your faith in what you see or feel. God is always at work. God never abandons His children. He is always near, even in those seasons when you don’t feel His presence.
Remember the words of Song of Solomon 2:11-12, For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” There is an end to winter– and good things lie ahead!
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“Savor the Season You’re In” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/savor-the-season-you’re-in
“Spring: The Season of New Beginnings” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/spring-the-season-of-new-beginnings
“Summer: The Season of Refreshing” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/summer-the-season-of-refreshing
“Fall: The Season of Harvest” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/fall-the-season-of-harvest