Wednesday, April 6, 2005
It was early last February, and we had just gotten several inches of snow - that wet, heavy kind. As you probably know, February is about the time that cabin fever starts to set in for those of us who have something called winter, and we're really ready for the cold to be over. Well, it isn't at that point; usually for a few more weeks. But I saw something so amazing that day of the February snow that I went for my camera to take pictures of it. On the south side of our shed, I saw something just barely peaking out from the snow. It was the shoots of our yellow daffodils! I brushed off the snow and I captured it on film - the promise of a coming spring in the middle of a very wintry day!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Flowers in the Snow."
Winter isn't just a season on the calendar. It's a season in our lives, as well; a recurring season - those stretches (sometimes long stretches) when it's dark more than usual when life seems cold and even bitter sometimes. If it's winter for you right now, you need to take a walk to the other side where there may be some flowers in the snow. No, your winter isn't over, but God wants you to know that it won't last forever either. Though the signs may be faint and few, there's a spring on its way!
Jesus talks to us about our winters in our word for today from the Word of God. In John 16, beginning with verse 20. He's preparing His disciples for the cold and bitter season they're about the head into as He goes to the cross and ultimately leaves them to return to heaven. But what He says to them about their winter is also true of yours. He says: "You will grieve (I'm glad He said that. There's no denial here of the hurt that we have in our heart), but your grief will turn to joy (or your winter will turn to spring!). A woman giving birth has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy ... So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."
There it is. It may be winter now, but spring is coming. Hope is the knowledge that it won't always be this way! The broken heart will start to heal. God's new things will start to fill up your life, the prayers will be answered, this trial will pass, and God will turn your pain into a mighty ministry in other people's lives. Somehow, as Romans 15:13 says, "the God of hope (will) fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
And my guess is that even in the middle of your winter, there are, somewhere in your life, a few flowers peeking through the snow. They are harbingers of hope. Ask God for eyes to see some of the little hints of the good things He's planning for you. Part of God's strategy for hope says: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." Or maybe "flowers in the snow."
Don't succumb to the darkness and the coldness of the winter you're in right now. While it's cold all around you, God is quietly, invisibly preparing the seeds of the spring ahead. Be faithful in your winter. Look for the little signs of the better season coming. Your winter isn't over, but your winter isn't forever either. We can learn a lot about the seasons of our life by God's seasons of the year. I've lived a lot of winters, and I've never seen a winter that wasn't followed by a spring.