Spring is Coming
I planted a dozen baby pine trees around the property at my cottage last fall. We have had a rough winter with very cold temperatures and lots of snow, and as I look around the property, rather than seeing the full baby tree, I can see only tiny shoots here and there poking out from the banks and drifts of snow. I have hoped and wondered throughout this season whether they were going to make it through, and I wondered whether I would be able to have the joy of watching them shoot up like pine trees do in the spring.
This reminds me that sometimes during the winter of our lives we tend to live in survival mode. We do what we can to stay strong under the pressures of our heavy burdens. Sometimes our own sorrows inhibit us from healthy growth. The burdens of our heart and spirit pile upon us, blanketing us, and we wonder if we are strong enough to withstand the weight.
I have had seasons like this in my life, times that I call winter. Sometimes it feels like it goes on and on, and we grow weary. We long for the light, but we are not quite prepared for it to come just yet. Maybe you need to remain just a little longer in survival mode. Perhaps you are not emotionally or spiritually ready to come out of hibernation.
I know that if my tender baby trees can make it through their first winter, their roots will grow strong enough to withstand the many winters that lay ahead. I guess this is true for people too. If we grow our roots during good times–establishing our faith, our belief system, our “God confidence”– then we will be able to withstand some of the seasons of hardship that will inevitably touch us in our lifetime.
This is the one thing that is for certain: Spring is coming! It happens every year. I will look out my window one morning to find hundreds of yellow day lilies blooming. I will hear the sound of mama robin chatting away in the trees. Then as the sun grows closer to us, we experience the big thaw. The ice begins to melt, waters start to flow, and we see new buds on the trees. The plants in the garden begin to spring up from the ground as if they too are emerging from hibernation and are now strong enough to see the light of day. They built their roots during hibernation and are bigger, stronger, and more colorful each spring.
If you have been going through some difficult times and feel like the burdens on your heart and soul will never ease, remember that the coming of spring is always certain. This season of hibernation that you are going through will only last until you are spiritually and emotionally ready to move on. We grow during the winters of our lives, establishing our root system. During these times, we can choose to insulate ourselves in darkness or we can choose to poke our heads out above it to see the light.
After surviving a season of hibernation, young plants are starving. They spread out their roots and absorb every nutrient that the ground in which they are planted has to offer. They are growing strong again, getting ready for new growth. I suppose it is that way for hurting people too. Once we survive hibernation, we are eager to grasp new life, a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing and a new way doing things. We embrace the light, spreading our wings, taking chances and absorbing all that our Creator has for us to learn and see and do. We are hungry. We have a new richness about us. We show buds of new growth in our actions and attitudes and flowering in our heart. The winter that had frozen our soul has now been touched by spring, by new life, and we are ready to embrace the light.
If you are in the winter of your life one thing is certain: Spring is coming! Your soul is preparing for it in the silence.
Your Turn: Have you been through a spiritual winter?