It’s been quite the winter for most of the country. Harsh cold, bitter wind, heavy snows, black-outs. Actually, also dangerous white-outs that send a lot of motorists to the emergency room when the snow is blowing so thickly and drifting so badly over interstate that no one can see. I’ve driven in those white-out conditions and found my way off interstate as soon as possible, then wandered around backroads for a couple of hours before I reached my destination. After exiting the interstate, I wasn’t too worried because I’d been on those backroads before and I had a good idea about my direction and I had good tires.
So I’ve pulled out some pictures taken in summers past to remind myself that summer is coming again.
Oh, yes, all those colors, that beauty, the green, the warmth. It’s coming. Don’t forget that it has come every year for as long as you can recall. It’s a promise, these seasons. You might live in a place where you don’t get a lot of snow. Maybe you live where the weather is just right in the winter and hits 120 in the summer. For you this is a warning–summer is coming.
This is our first winter in our new home in Wyoming. After yet another snow, when I’m shoveling more from the drive, neighbors and the mail carrier ask me if I’m sick of it yet. Everyone expects us to leave. I tell them the sun shines every day despite the cold. I haven’t had this kind of sunshine since I was a child in California. I have been assured that by the time summer comes, I’ll be so sick of winter I’ll never want to spend another one here.
But I look at the pictures and remember that promise of summer. Here in Wyoming, that’s my favorite season. We’re high and dry here, and the elevation keeps us from the punishing heat. The trails beckon every day, and there are so many to choose from, such a short drive away. The sunshine makes me high to the point that people want to shoot me because I tend to be a little too cheerful.
If you’re in a winter season of your life–and often people tend to seasonal affective disorder when the clouds linger and the days are short–never forget that it won’t last forever. I understand that it feels that way right now, but winter doesn’t last for us. Spring always comes, followed by the warmth of summer.
If you’re struggling with more than seasonal affective disorder, if you have illness in your body or a family member is suffering, if relationships are tearing you apart and you feel there’s no way out, remember those seasons. There are deaths and divorce and awful pain, and suffering will always be with us on this earth. I know because I’ve been there. The longer you live, the more you know that suffering happens. You might look back on those times of suffering now, however, and it will dawn on you that you’ve gotten through them before and you’ll get through the again. They might be different kinds of struggle, but the darkness lifted.
If the darkness hasn’t lifted for you and you’re a child of God, then you can have the assurance that this suffering does go away, and it is removed forever. You have your true life to look forward to forever.
We are here for a few decades of changing seasons. We don’t know how long we will be on this earth. But this truly is not our world. We have so much more to look forward to. The pictures above won’t hold a candle to the true beauty of what God has in store for us. When you’re drifting through the snow, lost in the white-out, or lost in the dark, never forget that God’s got this. He will not let us down. What we see on this earth doesn’t hold a candle to the joys we have in store.