My writing challenge topic for today was "The Weather".
I can honestly go on and on about this Winter... how it's been one of the coldest, snowest (is that a word... it is now!), windiest, and freezing Winter I've experienced in my lifetime.  
Several feet of snow rest outside my doors.
We literally walk through the "opened Red Sea" of white snow on our way to the church next door.
There's been close to 10 snow days (and 2-hr delays) at Joshua's school since the New Year's.
Cancelled church services twice in January.
Cabin Fever is an official state at our household... for ALL of us!
... and on and on and on....  

But the weather means more than just the temperature on the thermometer gauge, or the appearance of rain, sunshine, snow, or wind in the atmosphere.  It's more than what separates the south, the coasts, or the plains of the midwest.  When I think of the weather, I'm reminded of how fleeting, passing, and transitory the moments in my life can be.  One day can be bright and sunny, others can be overcast and rainy.  Stormy days.  Warm days.  Stuffy days.  Wet days. Dry days.  Dark days.  Breezy days.  And even crazy days... when its an "all of the above" type of days.  

The beauty of the created Seasons can reflect the natural order of my life and yours.  Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God "has made everything beautiful in its time."  Beautiful.  Everything.  Beautiful.  In their own time, EVERYTHING created can own the beauty of their Creator.  Eccleasiastes 3 also states that "there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."  Life, death, planting, harvesting, mourning, laughter, silence, speech, war and peace.  The Lord is in control.  Through it all.  In all.

I'm also reminded that Winter prepares us for Spring.  Did you know that a good Winter frost is exactly what farmers want for a good crop and harvest?  The snow prepares our fields for living fruit.  A good crop NEEDS a good frost.  I remember a couple of years ago when I learned about how farming is truly dependent on the perfect weather.  If it's too dry, too wet, too windy, or too of anything, "something" in the crop suffers.  But in all of this, God is in control.  He owns the land, does He not?

And the same goes for our spiritual state.  We all sin.  We live.  We die.  And on this side of heaven, that's all we really deserve.  We would be condemned to die if it's not for God's grace and Christ's unconditional love and sacrifice on the cross for you and me.  The only way to truly LIVE is through accepting this gift of salvation in Christ, and turning away from darkness.  And that's what Winter does to Spring!  One of my FAVORITE SONGS OF ALL TIME (yes... I'm NOT exaggerating here!) is "Every Season" by Nichole Nordeman.  I heard Nichole perform this song LIVE in Seattle... and I will never forget the lyrics of this beautiful song.  It goes like this:

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

I absolutely LOVE the idea that in EVERY SEASON, God is at work, even if undercover.  Every season has a purpose.  And "even in death", God opens doors for life to enter!  Through Christ's death on the cross, He opened doors for me (and YOU) to experience life and life abundant!  THAT is beautiful!  Winter opens doors for life to enter in the Spring!  THAT is beautiful!  I can never see Winter the same way again.  I look forward to Spring.  And Spring... Summer.  And Summer... Autumn.  

So, talk about the Weather?  Sure!  I can go on and on and on.  But finding meaning in the Seasons of my life is much more beautiful.  Seeing His hand at work during every moment... THAT is beautiful!

Can YOU find beauty in everything that surrounds you?  Can YOU find meaning for each season in your life?  There IS a time for every activity under the heavens.  And that includes this year's harsh Winter.  If that's what it takes for LIFE to enter in a few weeks...  I'll take it!  

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  1. I feel we are having the first true winter in years. It's been so mild the last few years and this year it's like the ARCTIC!

    1. So true! It'll make us all appreciate the Spring so much more!