The winter is hard for me. Although I’ve never had an “official” diagnosis I am pretty sure this time of year I suffer from seasonal depression. I am naturally cold so obviously this time of year my whole body stays in a 24 hour shiver state. Which seems like no big deal, except shivering is your body’s way of trying to create heat, which uses energy. So then I feel more tired and hungry. In addition to that, I am now developing arthritis in my feet, which will wake me up from a dead sleep when it’s cold hurting. Also getting out is tough with the 3 little ones. Even a trip to the store can feel like a full time job by the time they are bundled to get to the car, unbundled to get buckled into the car, rebundled to get into the store, unbundled because the store is heated, rebundled to get back to the car, unbundled again to buckle in, and once again bundled to get to the house and again unbundled to be home! SEE?! A full time job to do a simple task. I am praising Jesus this morning for the shop at home services! Sister if you haven’t tried it, DO IT NOW! Anyway, long story short, it’s much easier for me to just stay home rather than to battle getting out of the house, but for me, it’s not a good thing to be stuck at home. I need my people! I need to talk, laugh, and engage with others. The isolation of being home, along with the cold, dark weather is tough on my soul. This time of year is hard for me. Winter feels longer every year. I actually start to stress over how long the winter will be starting in the fall. I DO NOT love winter! There I said it!
Last year we got pretty much no snow. The entire winter we only had a dusting. I loved it, but the plants and animals did not. The winter is necessary to water the ground and create water for wells, streams and lakes. In fact, the Wallkill River that runs through our area had dangerous levels of algae growth this past September. So much so they closed the river for fishing, recreational, or even animals getting in the water to cool off. The excess growth could have been caused by pollution or drainage but they also noted that lowered water levels (due to no snow) will slow the water flow and cause the “stagnant” water to grow the algae. As much as I hate to say, the winter is needed.
In our faith walk we have “winter” too. A time where we can’t see the work that’s being done. A time of loneliness, a time of looking out and feeling like things are bleak and lifeless. The time where we have been praying fervently for God to move mountains, yet it seems as if the mountains are still or even growing. As much as I hate to admit it, the spiritual winter is necessary too. To water our faith to be prepared for the spring breakthrough. It’s a time where we may feel lonely in our flesh, and the Lord beckons us to draw nearer to Him. He teaches us to rely on His strength, to run to Him for His perfect love, acceptance, and comfort we need. It’s a time where He can speak deeply into the inner parts of us and create fellowship and dependance that simply doesn’t happen when “things are great and we don’t need Him.” It’s a time where we get to learn about the power of sustaining grace. The power that gets us through a season of pain, disappointment, and loneliness.
Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
He hasn’t left during a winter season. He’s given us the power that raised Him from the dead to get through the winter season. It’s grace that saves us AND sustains us. If you are struggling and dragging through a winter season, start praying for that sustaining power of grace! The Holy Spirit came for this purpose! To empower us to get through all seasons in His strength. We go through things and forget! Just like Israelites we put our eyes on how big the giants in our life are and forget who created the giants! He knows! He knows where you are and He hasn’t left you there to trudge through these long, cold days alone and powerless.
Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
What about you? Are you struggling through a winter season in life? A time where you are lonely, can’t see God working, or just feeling a loss of hope? Be encouraged! He knew we would go through these times and you aren’t alone there. As hard as it is to do, keep your eyes focused on Him. Grab a friend to speak truth over the lies of the enemy. He loves to get at you in the winter season. He knows how vulnerable you are. Get in the Word! It is power! Even if you don’t “feel” it, keep doing it! Start a new study, read a book with a friend, or go to Bible study. The Word washes us in truth even when we don’t feel it. And lastly worship! Keep praising Him! Praise Him for the giants in your life! Praise Him for the winter because you know it brings forth the beautiful flowers of spring! Praise Him for the gift of today, His Word, your family, and the Holy Spirit! Worship gets our eyes off the giants, off our problems and back where they go, on Him. Ask him to strengthen you in the spirit to face those giants as a mighty warrior for Him! When the enemy comes knocking at your spiritual door to speak lies you answer it as a Lion, roaring scripture in his face. Don’t give in! Don’t give up! Keep pushing on towards your goal friend!
Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I included this worship song to help you get into position of worship, to help shift your eyes. It has been on repeat for me.
Sister He makes marriages new, children new, our sick bodies new, ALL things new. He is our hope, not because of who we are but because of who He is. Keep singing, Hallelujah! Sister, your hope has come. I pray it blesses you as it has me.
“In winter I believe you
In springtime I see you
It’s so good to be with you, my hope has come
Lord you make all things new”
Isaiah 43: 18-19
Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Prayer Starter: Lord we sing Hallelujah! We thank you and praise for our winter season. That we can believe you even in seasons we don’t see you or feel you. We praise you that you make all things new Lord and during our time of waiting we can be sure of this, our hope has come. It is SO good to be with you and we rest in that today Lord. Strengthen us Lord in our spirit through the power of the Holy Spirit to press onto another minute, another hour, another day in our season of waiting. We praise you that nothing is wasted and it’s during our waiting that we are drawn closer to you!
In Jesus’ name and authority I pray, Amen!