Saturday, February 15, 2014

Broken Springs

I woke up this morning to see the most BEAUTIFUL sunrise ever! (I should mention that it was on a friend's Facebook page; it is Saturday after all.) By the time I filled my coffee mug and sat down to type, warm sun was streaming through the windows and I could feel the earliest tingle of spring. (Sorry to my snowbound friends in other places who are digging out of feet of snow. Come on down, there's lots of room here!) I felt a little giddy when I got to thinking about the season changing. At times when it is cold and dreary, it seems like maybe Spring is broken. Do you ever feel like that in real life? Like maybe Spring is broken and you will be trapped in a cold, dreary season where the moments of light seem short and the darkness drags on forever? Take heart! The proverbial spring is around the corner!

Life can be a really hard thing. You or people you love may be up to their ears in a snowy, icy season, I know, I have a cabin there, too. It may not seem fair. We don't understand why we have hardships when we look around and see others happily skipping around plucking flowers in their own spring lives. We may not understand the current season we are trapped in, but we can know this for sure. Seasons do not last.

I looked up the definition of season. Webster says, "of SEASON 1a :  a time characterized by a particular circumstance or feature <in a season of religious awakening." What is your current time characterized by? Are you is a season of hardship, or of joy? Of struggle, or of peace? Are you enjoying a season of pleasure, or pain?  Whatever your season, we know as humans our circumstances are temporary. We will all face all types of seasons; from that there is no escape. But one thing I loved about this definition was the example it used in the definition. Did you catch it? "<in a season of religious awakening." I think that is where the lesson lies. You see we may not be able to control the circumstances of life that drive our "seasons", but we can choose to have awakening in any season. What I have learned (and continue to have to relearn because it is a lesson that can easily be forgotten), is that I cannot choose my circumstances, but I can choose what I focus on in that circumstance. If I get caught up focusing on the frost on the window, I cannot see outside to notice that the snow is melting and the sun is shining.

If you are in a season of winter, I want to encourage you. Don't let your focus be on your problem, as hard as that may seem. Look beyond the frost on the window pane to see your family, your friends, your provisions, your blessings. Look to God. When your focus is on Him, you can find warmth and awakening even in the harshest winter. I love 2 Corinthians 4:18 which says, "So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." I can promise you this; the struggles we face today will not last forever, but they can keep us from living with joy if we become focused on them. On the contrary, if we focus on God and keep our eyes fixed on him, we are focused on the one thing that is unchanging and able to bring joy in all seasons!

One day you are going to wake up and be able to say, "Look! The winter is past. The rains are over and gone.  Flowers are appearing on the earth. The season for singing has come. The cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig trees are producing their early fruit. The flowers on the vines are giving off their sweet smell." Song of Solomon 2:11-12. Your struggle with your current season will be over and you will discover Spring again. Hold on my sweet friend. Do not be discouraged. Spring is not broken, it is just around the corner!

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