This has been a long winter, and for those of us who live in the Chicago area we know it is nowhere near finished, and yet the other day it rained. No, it poured.
For those who do not live in our temperamental climate, let me explain what February thunderstorms mean for my hometown: First, there is the potential for flooding. We have at least 12 inches of snow covering the ground and every drainage system in town. So, an onslaught of rain and melting snow means tons of water with nowhere to go. It also means that the beautiful white layer of snow that glistens in the sunlight is about to turn into dingy, filthy, ugly slush that will go through a several month cycle of melting and refreezing until it finally gives way to mushy waterlogged lawns.
Last week, the weather outside mirrored the weather inside my life. I have had a long and harsh winter on the health front. It has been met with heavy downpours in other areas of my life. So, when the rain came last week, hard and furious, it left things in my heart a slushy dirty mess. I felt incredibly frustrated and discouraged.
It would have been so easy to turn inward and stay in my place of despair, but God through His grace and mercy reminded me of one simple truth: The rain was a precursor to spring.
Yes, spring is on the horizon, my friend.
Knowing this does not always make winter easy. It does not make the heavy downpours any less challenging, but it does shift, in ever so subtle a way, our perspective. And for me, aligning my perspective with God’s eternal vision always changes my outlook. I begin to see the value in winter. Snow and cold provide a time of rest and recovery. Dormant seasons are necessary for future growth. I begin to appreciate the storms. Heavy rainfalls wash away and uncover things that often lay hidden and buried beneath the surface. Rain both refines and nourishes the landscape of my heart and mind.
Are you living through a rough winter season? Does it seem the rain will never end? Are you just beginning to see evidence of new growth budding in your life? Whatever season you are facing, I encourage you to fix your eyes fully on the One who promises new mercies every day.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-24 NLT)