An Alabama winter’s day can move from warm sun to snow in a matter of hours. Last week, my kids enjoyed a snow day because of the threat of sleet and snow. Central Alabama shut down when sheets of ice covered our roadways. This morning, I enjoyed my coffee and prayer time sitting on the deck. My kids walked to the bus stop without a jacket. The temperature is 73° as I write this. All of this to say, I don’t have much experience when it comes to true winters.
I know a few things about winter from looking at all of your pretty pictures of snow and bundled up children. It can be cold, like “I can’t feel my toes” cold. Winter can mean long hours indoors. It is a time when life slows just a bit because the earth says so. Sounds seem to freeze outdoors, so only quiet remains—unless you’re inside with your stir-crazy kids where wild chaos makes your ears ache.I want to soak in the lessons of #winter before the bustle of life resumes in a few months. #FridayFive #linkupClick To Tweet
I want to soak in the lessons of winter before the bustle of life resumes in a few months. Winter takes on a deeper meaning, providing cues to look inward and prepare our hearts for new life.
Reflections on Winter: the Lessons We Learn in the Cold
On the few cold days of our Alabama winter, I like to make soup. The warm broth and chunky vegetables bring comfort on a cold day. Soup warms you from the inside out. The same is true for the love of God. It changes us from the inside out. “Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24 ESV).
All of you northern folks would snicker at my winter coat. A polyester shell and thin fleece lining are about all I need to protect me from the winter winds coming from your direction. I see you in your puffy coats, looking like Ralphie from A Christmas Story, saying, “I can’t put my arms down!” Under that coat, however, you are warm and protected. The same is true for our spiritual armor: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11 ESV).
I do know a little about dressing in layers in the winter. For me, this means wearing a t-shirt so I can take off my sweatshirt in the afternoon when it gets warm. I don’t own a pair of thermal underthings, but I know layers are essential in the battle to stay warm. The same is true in our spiritual walk. Inviting friends to keep you accountable and pray for you make you stronger. “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Ecc 4:12 NLT).
We don’t get to do this much either, but it looks so nice—heat, soft light, the hisses and cracks. A fire in the fireplace is a quintessential ingredient for the perfect winter night. In both the Old and New Testament, fire brought judgment and consumed sacrifices for sin. However, my favorite fire story is Jesus on the shore, waiting to welcome his disciples after his resurrection. Jesus restored and commissioned Peter around this fire. “When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught'” (John 21:9-10 ESV). This fire represented fellowship, restoration, grace, and mercy. Our fires can do the same.
Every few years, we get a nice snow. The clean, white, glisten always brings this verse to mind: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Is. 1:18 ESV).
As you enjoy the remaining months of winter, take a few minutes to reflect on your favorite part and how it might represent our incomparable God. He is everywhere if we take the time to look—even in winter.
Join the #FridayFive #winter #linkup with me!Click To Tweet
#FridayFive Link Up
What do you love about winter? How do you survive? Share your thoughts on winter with us using the link up button below. Winter thoughts are welcome through January 12th.
Tired of that post-holiday clutter? Come back January 27th to get organized.