An Extended WinterGary Diehl
I know it’s only February, but the winter weather here in northeast Ohio seems to have include one winter storm after another for at least the last 6 months. It feels like this extended winter will never come to an end, despite what Punxsutawney Phil or Buckeye Chuck say. Even as I type these words, fluffy new snowflakes have blurred the treeline across the road again, and the morning 7-day forecast is talking about single-digit temperatures and below-zero wind chills. Again.
When will this extended winter end?
Ever wonder that about your work, your ministry, your leadership, your church, or even your closest relationships? In a season of seemingly endless cold, when will it start to warm up again? When will I see the signs of spring again? When will I awaken again to the chirping of birds returning to these dry, lifeless trees? When will I see little flowers popping through the dirt, or patches of green accenting the dull browns and grays of the yards and fields around me? When will we bear good fruit again?
All lives, ministries, and even relationships seem to go through seasons. That’s the nature of God’s design. So, we shouldn’t panic right away when the vibrancy, the life energy, or even the happiness seems to wane for a time. Maybe winter was meant to provide rest and perspective. Maybe we need rest from the unrealistic notion that we can keep up this frenetic pace constantly without unhealthy consequences. Maybe we need a perspective that reminds us how blessed we are when we see God-given life and fruit in our lives, our work, our ministry, our leadership, our church, or even our relationships.
So, take heart of you’ve entered a season of winter rest. But, remember that winter wasn’t meant to last forever. Don’t lull yourself into the false notion that we were always meant to live in a winter of cold unfruitfulness. Winter has its purposes, but at some point it should lead to springtime, and eventually harvest season. Let’s watch together for signs of that next new season of re-emerging life and fruitfulness as we position ourselves confidently in the hands of the Lord of the Harvest.
What season do you find yourself in? Does it seem like you’ve been there long?
What are few ways we could position ourselves more fully into the hands of the Lord of the Harvest so he can prepare us for greater fruitfulness in the next season?
What evidence of re-emerging or new life are you most anxious to see?