If you were a student of mine in Australia (I was a leader for an organization called YWAM in New South Wales, Australia)... you would have heard me talk about seasons.
Its one of my favorite words.
And I am a BIG fan of seasons.
As much as I miss Australia winters.. because they are freaking glorious compared to the 18 ft. of snow on the ground in Ohio currently... I always missed the seasons of Ohio.
Winter... changing to Spring.
Spring changing to Summer.
Summer to Fall.
Something beautiful, something significant, and a gift that we don't even realize is given to us in the outdoor change of seasons.
The reason for seasons, I think is to remind us that change is Inevitable, even when it feels far off.
That good seasons come, as well as dark, gloomy, and cold seasons.
It is a guarantee...
That there will be new life.
There will also be death.
Right now, as Northeast Ohio is currently -21 F degrees windshield... we are all whining and complaining about winter.
Isn't that like life though?
At the beginning of winter we LOVE it. We take pictures of the beautiful first snow fall. We play in the snow with our littles. We make hot cocoa. We celebrate Christmas.
And then Christmas is over.. and we spend the next 3 months in misery. Our bones "freezing" and complaining about the ice blocks we scraped off our cars that morning.
Trust me... I am not exempt from the complaining.
But I just look at it like life.
In the very beginning of a hard season.. we are ready. We are equipped, even excited to take on the challenge.
YES lets pay off all of our debt..
YES lets adopt teenagers...
YES lets have another baby...
YES lets start a home renovation project...
YES lets move across the world and become missionaries...
YES lets start Chemo & kick cancer's butt...
you press GO. .... and then winter starts. And after awhile.. the new-ness, the determination, the perseverance wears off...
The glamour dies.
And its freaking cold.
This is perseverance.
This nasty part of winter that we all hate.
The end of February.
CAN I CHALLENGE US?
Can I encourage us to take a step... that something as trivial as ending winter well.. persevering.. may actually do something to our spirit as well?
It may tell our soul to be grateful.
To be thankful that we have warm houses, clothes, HEAT in our homes, food on our tables.
... and To be reminded that spring always comes?
Can I even go as far to say..
this will model something profound to our children?
To show that in the beginning of hard seasons.. it's EASY to run full force into them, to enjoy them.. but when it gets tough, and you are SICK of being in the cold, grey, and hard season... that you can STILL rejoice?
That it does something to your CHARACTER to finish out a season strong in perseverance?
Can I encourage us.. as we walk this seemingly "meaningless" end of February.. to let it have meaning?
To let it be profound?
To let it change something in us?
To equip us for a season in life of hardship... proving that we are able to rejoice in the hard seasons... all the way UNTIL THE END?
Can I encourage you to do this for your kids, if not for yourself?
To instill a heart of gratitude.
To remember the blessing among the trial?
Even if that trial seems silly as winter....
Can I tell you that this matters too?
My sweet friends,
Lets show our kiddos what it means to rejoice in the hard seasons.
In winter, as we wait for Spring.
For SPRING surely will come.
And when it does, lets look back on winter and say.. that was a GREAT season.
Surely the sun will shine again.
Surely winter will be over.
Surely this is meant to be something more profound than just shoveling snow, whining and complaining.
Surely God, even amidst "seasons", is more profound than that.
"Rejoice always. I will say it again Rejoice."