Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter, daffodils, and enduring promises

Daffodils, promise of spring to come.
Well, there is no doubt that winter is here.  It is early January according to the calendar.  The crepe myrtles, maple trees and grass have all settled in for their long winter’s nap. The sleeve choice has changed to “long and thick”.  The immediate weather forecast for our area includes bitterly cold temperatures.  Now, granted, bitterly cold may be perceived differently in different locales.  Here in north Alabama, a freeze now and then is to be expected in January.  But, this is different when we have single digit lows, and don’t even see the thermometer get above 32 for a couple of DAYS! Whew, it hurts my little southern bones just to think of it!  This is the kind of weather forecast that cause people to begin to speak ill of both meteorologists and thermometers, children begin to pray for school closings, and adults plan trips to the Caribbean. 

On the other hand, we have been there before.  Last year we survived extreme cold, and multiple snows (quite an accomplishment for Southerners, wouldn’t you agree?) but we survived.  I can’t say the same for some trees, shrubs and flowers, but we made it through.  I expect we will this time too.  Hard times come and go like seasons.  Summer doesn’t last all year, neither does winter.   

Right here as we jump into the throws of winter, look who has shown up!  Do you see them peeking their little heads out of the cold hard ground?  Daffodils!  Now, you may say it is just part of the normal process, and it is, but I also see it as a promise of the spring to come.  Isn’t it just beautiful?  God allows us to go through tough times, even suffering, and it is absolutely true that some of the times are harder than others.  But God also gives us promises for those who trust in Him, it will not last.  He is with us, and spring is on the way.   You can count on Him like that.  He sees your situation, and knows your heart.  Look around, He might even be sending you a little encouragement in the form of a few daffodils!

Father, even though we endure sufferings and hardships we know that nothing escapes Your eyes. We thank You for the patterns and promises You have given us that give us such tremendous hope and encouragement.  Help us to stand firm in our trust in You even when we are hurting, and help us to share our trust in You with those who so desperately need that hope.

Have you seen God working through a hardship?  What has been your favorite signal that God is holding you through a difficulty?