Sunday, January 26, 2014

The ground was THICKLY covered in ice as the cold, brisk wind cut through the air like a knife. As I walked along the canyon trail I looked around observing God’s creation trying to see Him in the ice covered wonderland. The walk took longer than I enjoyed and I was getting hungry. I could feel myself becoming cynical about the season we identify as “winter”.
Reminding myself that all things come from Him and without Him nothing was made that has been made, I wondered about this dastardly period of four months-ish. The branches’ look of death and all living things asleep under the tundra made me feel alone and quite dark contrary to the shining sun through the bare branches. I looked up the mountain side which was covered in snow and I felt defeat. “It’s everywhere,” I thought. My eyes couldn’t escape it, and quite honestly neither could my now frigid body. Bright as snow may be, it was unfriendly AND everywhere. Its very existence represented death. Winter seems to carry an arrogance that it has defeated life.
As, I blinked my cold lashes, I realized what He was teaching me. Winter is NOT the final season. It has a time and a place, as well as a purpose. This world can, at times, looks like it has been taken over by the dark forces and it is inescapable. It seems as though  sin and all its awful power reigns and that His goodness is hidden under a thick blanket of this world’s layer of ice.
As I walked ahead, the usual stream that was at the bottom of the falls was a thick clear dark layer of ice. It honestly looked like glass with a few cracks in it. It was clear as crystal. Underneath the frozen water were TONS of trout! Life was still stirring.
During the winter months all living things prepare for the cold and some plants even recall the amount of time the temperature has been below freezing so that it can acclimate to its zone condition (the cold).  So in essence, nothing is dead, it is just undergoing some major changes through these harsh months.
How awesome for our God to faithfully give us a reminder of His plan to redeem every year for thousands of years. With.Out.Fail. We can visibly see the effects of His Mighty creation and that LIFE always returns; EVERY season. The winter looks daunting, but wait! A new story is coming. As winter laughs and mocks the hope that lies dormant under its cold wait…spring ignores its mockery and faithfully continues on in its task of preparing to reveal something spectacular. It is preparing to actually claim the victory.
If winter represents death and spring represents life, then please notice that in this cycle of seasons that spring is never first and then conquered by winter, it is ALWAYS death first and then the conquering…LIFE. I’m reminded  of the victory that comes up from the grave after the death of the Most High, Jesus, who died. His victory COUNTS. It matters more than the illusion of this sinful world’s visual presence and pretend defeat. Enjoy your winter…but new life is about to break forth, and the clutches of this season can NOT hold it back.

I Corinthians 15:55                                                            

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

by Bren Warner