Always Winter Never Christmas

Photo by Paul Sancya (AP)

Photo by Paul Sancya (AP)

 

Photo from http://hbu.edu

Photo from http://hbu.edu

A few lines from the Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe seem particularly appropriate this year. They describe perfectly the experience of many in the first months of 2014.

“The White Witch has got all Narnia under her thumb She makes it always winter and never Christmas  She turns people into stone.”

The Polar Vortex 2014 hit the northern hemisphere in mid-October. It hasn’t let up  & is reputed to be the worst winter in one hundred years. I was talking to a friend in Manitoba. They have had no break in the weather for 3 months. Month’s of paralyzing cold, violent winds, blizzards, school closures and driving adventures are keeping people frozen in place; sometimes literally but  more often emotionally & spiritually; the human spirit despairing, depressed. Will the winter ever end ?

Mid-February traditionally brings weather shifts & signs of spring. Not this year. As I wrote  this  post the eastern coast of the US and Canada is again locked down by winter storms of unimaginable proportions. Great Britain is suffering rains and flooding not seen since the 1700’s.

In Alberta not only has winter been long and challenging but we lost our spring to the Alberta Floods last June. Our son’s property was in the epicenter of the flood.  Summer was forgotten in the trauma of recovery and repair . In seasons where everything is humanly out of control people lose hope. The promise of annual  ‘Holy-Days’  like Thanksgiving, Advent & Christmas  can seem plastic and hollow. We have forgotten the hope of Advent & Christmas that Jesus is Immanuel:God With Us.

In those times we need to step back and get a fresh perspective.

God promises that as long as the earth endures seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter will never cease (Genesis 8:22).

Jesus will always be:

The natural always demonstrates the spiritual. There are seasons in our spiritual lives as well;  Spring, Summer, Harvest and Winter .

My spiritual growth demands an ever changing climate controlled by the Father’s design as He stirs me toward fruitfulness.

Each season has it’s resources and joys but also it’s challenges. Don’t resist or fight the challenges.

Right before the worst , wintry storm the disciples would face, Jesus talks about vines and branches and staying put (abiding). It was a strange goodbye speech with all the talk of dormancy, staying still, being pruned or even cut off.

The disciples were facing a winter season spiritually.Maybe you are in the middle of a long  personal winter. Everything you thought you knew or were has been challenged. Everything that can  be shaken is being  shaken .

Photo from Oymyakon Russia

Photo from Oymyakon Russia

We feel frozen in place.

We need a new perspective. Winter brings a much needed rest & re-staging. Without the pruning and the re-shaping the vine would not be able to cycle again to harvest.

My tendency in winter seasons is to focus on the diminished activity & fresh wounds that come from recent pruning. I don’t rejoice in the rest and refreshing that comes from spiritual winters.

I miss the truth that without the rest & restoration that comes from dormancy fruit would not appear again.

I have been in a spiritual winter for well over a year.

There were many days that I forgot that in repentance & rest is my salvation ( healing); that in quietness & trust is my strength.(Isa 30:15).

 

Let’s turn again to Narnia.

Mr. Beaver says:

“Come and see ! This is a nasty knock for the Witch! It looks as if her power is crumbling.

Drip, drip from all the branches of the tree. A strange chattering and the sound of running water.

This is no thaw!  This is spring !

Your winter has been destroyed, I tell you – This is Aslan’s doing!”

Photo by Otto Bixler

Photo by Otto Bixler

Last Sunday began as a foggy -24C morning. We had spent the week with friends breaking the Witch’s power over my life.

We drove our friends  out to our son’s new property. The sky became bluer and bluer ; white clouds hurrying by.

We came over the hill and saw large against the sky the frame of our son’s new home rising high on  the his  land of promise.

 

 

 

Spring with it’s hope and promise had returned!

Ever lengthening days are clawing at winter’s grip and it will soon succumb.

The vines are neatly trimmed; their branches gently twisted around the wire strung from the posts. The labor of winter has brought surrealistic order to the vineyard.

Birds returned to our yard yesterday. By next week the starlings will come down our crescent noisily drunk with joy from the fermented mountain ash berries!

Spring is coming!

Arise ! Winter is over! Come with me!

The Witch’s Curse is Broken!

It is Aslan’s Doing!

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3 thoughts on “Always Winter Never Christmas

  1. Linda, thanks for reminding me of the purpose of the winter seasons. Your word pictures are beautiful.

  2. amen amen amen….I was thinking about my ‘winter’ which has been a long one..this spoke volumes to me ….My tendency in winter seasons is to focus on the diminished activity & fresh wounds that come from recent pruning. I don’t rejoice in the rest and refreshing that comes from spiritual winters.