Sunday, June 30, 2013

Coming Out of Winter

It has been a long winter.

I mean that in a literal sense--2013 had a long winter with a slow spring--but I also mean it in a figurative way, talking about the landscape of my heart.

The last several months have been hard. I've been going through some stuff. There have been days and months where I've felt whipped by cold winds, laid bare by the harsh elements. As I've looked around for signs of green life, I've seen only barren hills, stripped of vegetation, rocky outcrops on which one can so easily stumble. The sky has been a pale gray, and even the sun's rays have felt bitter and piercing.

This winter land has been lonely and traveling through it has proved exhausting. There are days where it feels like I've worn through all my protective gear, the very things one gathers to survive such seasons. I've stood in the wind, tattered, thirsty, cold, desperate for summer.

Yet even in this place of desolation and seeming lifelessness, I know God has been at work. I know that in the soil of my heart, He is breaking down the old in order to bring the new. He's bringing death in certain places to nourish the things He wants to grow in me now. What may look bleak on the surface is teeming with potential life just below.

I'm beginning to see that the season is changing. Tiny shoots of dreams peek up from the soil and buds of hope branch out. The winds are becoming softer, the sky bluer, the sun warmer and more comforting. Birds chirp in the distance; a brook laughs nearby.

I hear God's voice calling to me: "See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:11-13 NIV

I desire to step into this season, to heed His invitation into this new landscape. To yield to whatever may blossom in my life, to expect a bountiful crop to come at the hand of my master gardener. I long to leave this long winter season behind as I listen to my Father's voice leading me forward.

“Remember not the former things,
   nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
   now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
   and rivers in the desert."
                                        --Isaiah 43:18-19