I am coming to the end of my 23rd winter in Indiana. This Southern California boy still loves a warm sunny day but I have come to appreciate all of the seasons … even if I have to shiver part of the time.
Indiana weather can be somewhat unpredictable. Winter might be icy, snowy, temperate, or frigid, but I’ve noticed a pattern that has seemed to be consistent every year. After some indeterminate amount of time (usually around January 2), people get weary of the cold and long for spring. Sometime in March the temperatures begin to rise. People get a skip in their step. My news feed fills up with crocus pictures. Conversations are buzzing with “Spring is finally here!!”
That lasts about two weeks. Then comes “Second Winter”. The temperatures drop. The snowflakes fall. The windshields whiten. The flowers fade. And every year (mind you I am saying every year) the complaints abound. “Would spring just get here already?” “Why is it cold in late March? It’s supposed to be spring!” “Winter is never going to end!”
The first few times I experienced Second Winter I felt depressed. I missed my warm sunny days. My heart was so ready for spring. Having it for a moment only to lose it again was devastating.
Doesn’t that happen a lot in life? A season of trial seems to be coming to an end, but … The incision is almost healed when you sustain another injury… The credit card is almost paid off when the sump pump fails… You get a raise around the same time your spouse loses his or her job. The long awaited reprieve is short-lived.
In those days we don’t have a guarantee the circumstances will change or that life will get easier. Our confidence lies in the character of the One who made the seasons, who put the stars in space, and who holds us in the palm of His hand.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.
— Lamentations 3:21-26
Lamentations 3 (full chapter) on Biblegateway.com
Eventually spring does come to Indiana. After a week or two of Second Winter’s “refreeze” the weather warms up, the flowers begin to bloom again, the complaints fade away (at least until summer), and the wondering ceases. Spring has arrived! It usually just takes a little longer than we think.
Yesterday I was talking with a friend who was lamenting the cold. I said, “The great thing about the refreeze is that you know spring is really right around the corner now.”
Spring is on the way …
… It may be the spring of a physical reprieve from the trials we are facing
… It may be the spring that thaws the winter in our hearts and restores hope
… It may be the spring that arrives when we see Him face to face
… It may be all of the above
But rest assured, spring IS on the way.