I love the changing of seasons. I make playlists for each one, change the wreath on our door, and prepare certain foods at different times in the year. I’m grateful that our gracious Father meets both our need for newness and our need for stability, by changing things up every few months, but changing them up in much the same way each year so we know what to anticipate.
Spring wouldn’t be half as sweet if it didn’t follow winter. Still, for many of us, January can be challenging. It’s one thing to have dark and cold afternoons with all of the lights, songs, smells, and cookies of December, but quite another when the days are just dark and cold and full of resolutions. The curse of Narnia, after all, was always winter and never Christmas.
So, how do we cling to hope during the cold days of winter—especially winter in the midst of a pandemic? Tim Mackie of the Bible project reminds us in their video on hope that, “Biblical hope is not optimism based on odds, but a choice to wait for God to bring about a future that’s as surprising as a crucified man rising from the dead.” Winter teaches us about waiting. The tree outside my window that was golden in November just appears to be dead, it’s actually doing everything it needs to do to bud again when March rolls around. And, if we abide in Jesus’ love, we are promised we will bear much fruit, too.
The same God who gives us seasons, also gives weeks, and days, and reminds us that “his mercies are new every morning.” When tomorrow’s worries come crashing in, it is good to remember that it will not always be this way. As believers in Christ, we have the ultimate hope of Heaven and that glorious truth should never be taken lightly, but we also have the wondrous promise that God is near to us now, which for many of us, is sometimes harder to believe. Yet, His word tells us clearly that He will never forsake us, that He is near to the broken-hearted, that He is in us, that we are in Him.
Because we have been told “there is a season and a time for every matter under Heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1), let us remind each other of the hope we have in our Father who doesn’t change like shifting shadows, trusting that He will bring light to our darkness.
“Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of early spring.” -Hosea 6:3