I have lived in Minnesota all my life and will confirm the truth of the statement that this state is the “theater of seasons.” The changing face of the Minnesota landscape ranges from the lush, warm greens of summer to the white, beautiful barrenness of winter. We’ve grown used to the fact that seasons can suddenly change. Many Minnesotans still remember and talk about the Halloween storm of 1991 that ushered in huge amounts of snow and a very early winter that seemed to go on forever. Because of their appreciation and even love for this climate, Minnesotans are known to say, “If you don’t like the weather wait a minute!” As for me, I’m a big fan of spring that quietly perseveres and triumphs over the lagging effects of snow and cold and points to the soon-coming summer of warmth. After the long winter of 1991, the spring of 1992 DID finally come, and I savored every minute of it!
Life hands us seasons. Some come like the long-expected spring, and others come like the early, icy charge of winter. It’s easy to enjoy the gentle, warm changes that come peacefully into our lives. The birth of a child, a new job, recovering from a long illness or surgery, and personal successes can feel like the warm sunshine of an August day.
But we also need to know and expect that some seasons will take us by surprise. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, unexpected health problems, and personal disappointments can feel like the onslaught of an early, endless winter. I just met with a friend whose 30-year marriage ended and is now trying to make sense of the new reality of his life. As I listened to him and we prayed together I was struck with this reality: Life can be hard—very hard. Anyone who tries to tell you that life will always be easy for those walking in a life-changing relationship with God has either not lived through all the seasons or is not being truthful. Jesus put it this way:
“In this world you will trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In the midst of Jesus’ words about the reality of life, I hope you also caught the promise implied in His words: He is with us and promises to bring us through the hard seasons of life to a better day. Like the gentle, persevering arrival of spring, Jesus reminds us that we will experience the warmth of His coming, endless spring. In the coldest days of winter seasons of life, we do well to hold onto God’s promise of a new life, a new start, a new spring for us. God is with us through every season, whether we feel Him or not. In the meantime, as we wait for God and his promised new day, He fills us with His presence and strength.
Like you, I am also journeying through the theater of season of life. In many ways, I feel like I’m in the winter season right now. Walking with my son and daughter-in-law as they search for answers for our youngest grandson’s health issues, navigating through changes, and standing with friends going through serious life issues and questions can feel like the unexpected snowstorm of 1991. But I choose to trust God for the spring that is coming, for I remember how God has safely brought me through every season of life and am convinced He will do this throughout my life. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote these words:
“Those who wait upon God get a fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired, and walk and don’t lag behind” Isaiah 40 (The Message)
If you find yourself in a “winter” season of life, learn and practice the Minnesota way of making it through the cold days: “If you don’t like the season wait a minute.”
My friend, wait for God: He as a new spring coming into your life!
God bless you.