February 2021, Vol. 40, No. 2

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Lessons in the Long Winter

posted on February 1, 2021

[536 words]

This winter seems like it’s stretched out extra long this year, doesn’t it! Winter is a very tough season as summer fun is long past, the pretty leaves of fall are gone, the trees are bare, and the days are colder. It can be a dreary, drawn-out, difficult time for many. Is there anything we can learn from the “long” winter season? Since Psalm 19:1 states that “the heavens declare the glory of God,” you would think there is something we can learn even from this cold, bleak season – and there is.

Winter reminds us that God is faithful to His word. God said in Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” The change of seasons is proof of God’s faithfulness to His word. If we don’t like the heat of a mid-August day, just wait a few months – January is coming! If we shiver at the cold of winter, take heart – spring is just around the corner! God has promised it, and He has never failed to keep His promise of seasons. And if He keeps this promise so faithfully, what of the really important ones – like the resurrection, eternal life, and heaven? He will keep them!

Winter reminds us that life moves in cycles. We have an inspired reminder of this in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2,11. “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted…He has made everything beautiful in its time.” There would be no autumn glory without the lush green foliage of summer; no summer leaves without the buds of spring; no springtime burst of life without the winter hiatus. We accept the contrasting threads of joy and sorrow, victory and defeat as being essential to the basic pattern of the fabric of life. As life moves through its changing cycles, we Christians believe “that all things work together for good to those who love God…” (Romans 8:28).

Winter reminds us that we must “die” to live. We all know well that spring cannot come until winter has passed. For the life of spring to bloom forth, the tree must go through the “dead” of winter. Jesus talked about this concept when He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24). Spiritually speaking, we are born into a world that is dying, and we too must face our own mortality (cf. Hebrews 9:27). But when we die to self and sin, then and only then are we able to live anew for Christ (Romans 6:3-5). From God’s point of view, we have not really begun to live until we have learned what it means to die.

Enjoy the rest of this winter season with its own beauty and uniqueness. And let it remind you of God, His will, His promises, and what He can make of you.

Edd Sterchi
Broadway church of Christ
Campbellsville, KY

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