Winter seems so gloomy I think in part because most plants and trees appear dead. They’re not growing, not producing, not active. They do not seem alive.
But perennials were designed to know their needs when winter comes. Their metabolism slows drastically so they cannot produce for a season, but they can live. If they were to try to produce while the climate wasn’t favorable for growth, they would cause themselves serious harm, even death. So, though they may not look alive, the go into dormancy to sustain life.
We as people go through winters too.
We love the spring, summer, and autumns in our lives. We love to blossom beautifully, grow visibly, produce extravagantly, and harvest bountifully. We love to be active and have it be seen.
But winter? Winter we often loath. It’s when it looks as though we are doing nothing, producing little, and growing hardly at all. This is often a season we dread going through. We look up to the heavens and cry out, “why, oh God? Why am I here?” That is, if we cry out to God at all. Often, I found, at least in my own life, we tend to mourn this season alone. Why would God want to talk to us anyway when we are not producing for him?
But here in lies the difference between us and trees: while a tree may not grow in the winter, our roots can grow vastly, if we choose to let them, in the winters of our souls.
The entirety of last year felt like a winter to me. I accomplished nothing great. I produced no earth shattering achievements in my own life and I don’t feel as though I did much in others either. I felt like all I did was just merely survive. I worked long hours alone, mustered up the engery to simply cook dinner and eat, and worked hard to not pass out before 9pm. I did this on repeat for months. This felt like winter.
I thought a few weeks ago that I was finally able to see the light of spring. So I began preparing for spring in my soul. I was excited to finally exit this weary, lonely, unproductive period of my life.
Then, about a week ago, God whispered softly into my heart, “your winter isn’t over yet.”
The emotion that swelled up inside of me I do not think I can adequately put into words. I felt both a twinge of grief and a giant sigh of relief. All at once I was shocked and numb but also comforted. The most prominent feeling though was peace. It washed over me like a flood.
You see, though I didn’t enjoy fully the winter I had endured in 2018, I was beginning to see how my roots had grown. In those hours on end trudging through the fields alone, I conversed with my Creator. Those days when I had nothing left to give but had so much more yet to do, I drew strength from my God. In my lack of productivity, I found that the Lord Almighty liked me despite how little it appeared I was doing for Him.
Continuing deeper into my on going winter wasn’t what I wanted to hear initially. But it is what my soul needs. So I joyfully am continuing on in this “unproductive” season of my life. Though I wish the circumstances that put me here were different, I am cherishing every moment that is letting my roots grow deeper in God, and I am resting in the fact that currently God doesn’t want my performance, He just simply wants me.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.