Jan 16, 2010

A Long, Cold Winter

We often picture life in seasons, and rightly so. Just as nature has its spring and summer, fall and winter, each preparing for the next and leading organically into them, so do we. There are seasons where our social scene is growing, and others when even our daily bread is vanishing. Our marriages come with times of great joy and unity, and harsh storms of strife and discontent.

I am roughly in February right now. Its still hard, the cold biting wind hasn't really let up, but I can see the possibility of spring in my future. Perhaps soon even green shoots and early bloomers will appear to bolster my spirits, then I'll know I made it into March.

I have struggled with depression on and off throughout this winter, as my eyes wandered from the goodness of God's character and love for me, and to the darkness and difficulty of my circumstances. By God's grace, I'm mostly winning. Indeed, I'm surprised to find there really can be winning in this place in life.

1 Pet 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

Entrusting is not a passive act, it is a very active thing. It is a daily, nay, hourly choice to depend on God to work things to good, to cling to him and the hope he gives, to his promises, and praise him. It is the struggle of Job, of David while running from Saul, of Nehemiah as he desperately tried to get his wall built with small armies amassing against his labor force. When we trust, bless his name in our hearts and with our lips, there is victory. Others might not see it, but Peter warrants it something of worth:

1 Pet 5:9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

Suffering well, fruitfully, faithfully is an accomplishment. It is something to strive for in the darkest and coldest winter.