Battling the mid-winter blues
Dreary days. Cold weather. Very little time outdoors. The sighs we share over the joys of summer aren’t just a distant memory. For many of us, they have all been forgotten.
You all know someone who struggles with winter, especially late winter. That someone may be you.
Even if you’re a diehard winter fan like me, there are days it’s too dark. There are days it’s too cold.
So, what do we do?
We do what we always do. We, the people of faith, look ahead. [If you don’t profess to having faith—this is, after all, a column and all are welcome to these words—then I invite you to think about the faith you do have.]
It’s true. We all have faith. We have faith that we’ll get to our destination when we travel. We have faith that a well-planned dinner will be good, or at least edible. We have faith in our steadfast friendships because our best buds have never (or very rarely!) let us down before.
So, yes, we all have faith.
I am fully aware (and even appreciative of) those of you who are reading this yet share that you have little or no Christian faith, or that this column is the only window to a “church experience.”
So, this particular column is actually more about faith than snowflakes.
See, the promise of spring can remind us all of the promises God makes throughout the Hebrew Bible, otherwise known as the Old Testament. God is continually promising His people better days ahead. This is what is called a biblical meta theme.
As the days get longer through mid to late February, we can see God’s promise of rejuvenation in these days with longer and longer sunlight. If we can see this promise—or as we see this promise—then we realize that to everything there truly is a season and a time (Ecclesiastes 3). Some seasons seem too long. Other seasons, like those laden with sudden acute and grief, are excruciating.
Yet, like winter itself, we learn in time what we’ve needed to learn, which is how good love is, and how good love can be. Even if we don’t have love or joy as we’d like, there is still the promise of the rising sun that joins us earlier and earlier each day. Some deep wounds take a long time to heal. Some pains, like those long-lasting colds we’ve each had, seem to never go away.
But they do. Slowly.
Let this winter teach you something. Let the cold days and the warmer ones, the overcast skies and the bright sunny ones, help you see God at work. By this I mean that God is present through all of your seasons, which includes those times when you are very faithful, and those times you can’t honestly remember what faith feels like because it’s been far too hard for far too long.
His promises are new every morning (Ephesians 1:19-20). We can receive them, or not.
Battle mid-winter blues knowing what is true: the days are getting longer. Signs of new life through spring arrive each day. Hold on. Have faith. Specifically, have faith not just in transportation or well-cooked meals turning out well; have faith in God, the very One who holds you when you didn’t even realize you were being not just held, but loved.