It’s been a long winter.  No matter where you live, I’m pretty sure you can relate.   From my chilly office at the front corner of our house, I can hear the wind whipping and whistling—it’s forceful today.  This winter has been unusually cold, excessively windy and brought mounds of snow.   There’s still a trail of frozen precipitation in our front yard.  I’m ready for spring, and the gorgeous days of 65+ temps.  I’d like to feel a warm breeze blowing my hair and the sun’s radiance upon my face.  I long for vibrant green leaves on the now naked trees outside.  I’m ready for all these things, but these things are not yet ready for me.

In some ways it feels like winter has seeped inside my skin.  It’s like I’ve been hibernating—stuck inside myself waiting for the sun to shine and warm my world again.  Gray days have consumed me.  At first I fought the winter, then resigned myself to its presence, but after a spring tease last weekend I’m ready to move beyond this season.  Do you feel like that too?  Winter feels lifeless in many ways: it brings a struggle and dulls my senses.  It commands rest and patience.  God is challenging me, and I’m growing.  Small steps are still progress.  He reminds me to stay within the season—to embrace what’s in front of me.  Sometimes I fight him.  It’s not that I willfully make a choice to disobey, but my desire for what’s to come is greater than my desire to be where I am.  This leads to discontent, the push and pull of fighting the present to engage in the future.

I know myself well, I’ve had these feelings before and I can identify them more easily now.  I silence the inner struggle by leaning into the peace of Jesus.   I stop my swirling thoughts, ones that sometimes rage like the winds outside today.   There’s a choice I have to make—I know that I must find life in this season.  I see the trees outside my window, although it looks like nothing is happening, there’s amazing life just under the surface.  It’s getting ready to break free, but it’s not time yet.  If blossoms and leaves burst forth right now they wouldn’t be able to stand up to the harsh temperatures and brutal wind, so they must wait.  I must wait.  I must remain patient, continuing to cultivate life inside.  I must embrace this quiet place and soak up all Jesus offers me.  His gifts are unending: his presence, love, peace, and promises of the season to come.   I want to soak it up now so I have something to share in the days ahead.  According to the calendar, spring arrives in 1 week.  I have a final set of 7 days to pause in the quietness of winter, to enjoy these last moments of restful hibernation, so that I may spring forth and come alive.

It is going to be a glorious 7 days.