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I just love this time of year. Everywhere I look I see surprises. Where there was just dirt and dry leaves, all of a sudden the crocuses have popped up and are blooming. The little yellow and purple and white flowers adding a splash of color to an otherwise gloomy day.
Pushing through the mulch in the flower beds are all sorts of green shoots. Soon there will be daffodils, buttercups, irises, tulips and lily of the valley; where there had been nothing but dead, brown leaves.
Have you ever gone through a long, cold spell? The kind where you wonder, what happened to the life and the joy that I used to have? Was my commitment to God real? Is God real? If He is real and He does love me and wants me to know Him, then...where is He? If He is still there, still loving me, then...what's wrong with me? Do I really believe, is my faith adequate, why do I backslide into old attitudes and maybe even old habits?
Well, even speaking only for myself, I can only answer some of those questions.
First of all YES, God is real. Yes, He loves you. Yes, He is still there. Why do I have these long, cold spells? I don't know completely. Sometimes I get complacent and decide to stay where I am comfortable. Sometimes I just neglect feeding my faith. Sometimes I just feel rebellious. Sometimes I am struggling hard to be and do all the things I know I should. Sometimes the old devil whispers lies in my ear and I begin to doubt.
If you know anything at all about Geography, then you realize that different countries have different climates. When I lived in Chicago, I had four very definite seasons that lasted about three months each. Winter was COLD, Spring was March winds, April showers and May flowers. Summer was HOT and humid, Fall was cool and brisk. We spent a couple of years in England when my husband was in the Air Force. They seemed to me to only have 2 seasons. Half the year was fairly sunny and warm, the other half rainy and chilly. There are places like Hawaii and some of the other Islands that have Summer all year around. Antarctica has Winter all the time.
These geographical locations don't have a choice. They have the seasons that God put in place at the time of creation and they can't change them. We as Christians don't always have a choice of seasons either. Things can come into our lives, such as illness (physical or mental), financial woes, sorrows, changes in life; a new baby, or an empty nest, moving away from family, or so many other things that we have to just endure the season.
But regardless of the season, our God is a God of all seasons. (Even in Antarctica there is a season of new life when the penguins hatch their young!) And as Spring follows Winter, so can our long cold, lifeless season be transformed and be new and full of life again. Our God is faithful. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. He will forgive and forgive and forgive, if we will confess our sins He will cleanse us of unrighteousness. He wants us to have peace and joy, He wants us to have the desires of our hearts.
So, if you are in a long, cold season right now, these are the steps to take. First of all be sure that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". Notice I said Lord and Savior. Many of us want Jesus to save us but don't really want to be obedient to Him. The second thing is to feed that relationship. Those little shoots that I see popping through the ground would not be there if they had not had the right amounts of water, sunlight and nutrients. We will not have a Spiritual life without feeding it. We must pray, both talking to God and listening to God. We must study His Word, how can we stand on His promises if we don't know them. We must be obedient. The Lord says if we love Him, we will obey Him. The Word also tells us that to obey, is better than sacrifice.
If you have done all you know to do then all that is left is to STAND. Stand firm in the Lord, stand on His promises and He WILL be there. The next season will come. (Eccl. 3:1-8)
"Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come," Song of Solomon 2:12
Jesus loves you and I do, too, Nana