Disclaimer: This post is strictly personal. To say it's been a cold winter is putting it mildly, and I am thankful for it! Last year's winter was so warm I felt like I missed out, but this year made up for it with 2 snows so far. In Alabama the Beautiful, we don't see the white stuff too often, so we shut down the city and have a par-tay. We (yes, you know who you are) buy all the milk and bread that Walmart has to offer and hunker down for some snow fun. I know some people from the North think we are lightweights, and we are lol... otherwise we would move North.
NarniaReturn From a Narnian Winter On a more serious note, winter can be the coldest time of year on the inside of us, and can occur in any month regardless of season. Life's weight bears down and all we begin to feel is cold inside, like it's never going to end. C.S. Lewis writes in The Problem of Pain, "Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say, "My tooth is aching" than to say "My heart is broken." Indeed. I could try to write something encouraging here? Yes, that's a question mark lol... There are so many places to receive encouragement for your suffering, but I would encourage you differently in this moment. We experience trials and pain all through life- thankfully for most it's just in seasons and not forever. I would ask you to look, in the midst of your frozen Narnia, at the beauty that is still there. I KNOW it's not easy, but you won't be there forever and God has given you a special opportunity to see Him work for your good. James (yes, the guy that wrote that little book in the back of the Bible) encourages us to "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it's full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4). JOY?? Really?? Yesssssssss... JOY! There is somehow beauty in the suffering because we become stronger and it takes more to shake us. We see God take care of us and our faith grows. I have recognized God so much more during my times of winter (and this has been a tough one) than during the happy times. I STILL would choose the happy times, don't get me wrong lol. So yeah, today it may be raining but the sun will shine tomorrow, that's great and we need to hear that, BUT! We need to learn to rest in each moment and wait. We overlook so much waiting for those spring flowers to appear, and there's plenty of time to return from Narnia. :-)