Monday, January 9, 2017

Winter of the Soul

I took a walk in the winter woods. The woods have a unique beauty in winter. The branches stripped of leaves, the undergrowth dead and snow coats the ground. You see deeper in the woods. Previously unknown features such as boulders, hills, fallen logs and ramshackle structures dot the landscape. 

The exposed trees are beautiful. Especially the white Sycamores. Ghost trees are what the Indians called them. I so enjoy a walk in the winter woods. It’s quiet and it certainly calms my spirit. 

I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

I’ve been feeling stripped and brittle like a winter tree. Exposed, vulnerable, weak. Life can do that to you sometimes. We can do it to ourselves. Ever feel like you are just a hot mess? Yea, me too. 

Yet even in the dark, bitter winter, there is something stirring. One day in a few months life will begin again. There is hope. And yes there is hope for you and me. I think there is a new beginning, a reset if you will, for us. Stay with me here. 

I’ve been thinking about King Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 29 who opened up the Temple that had been shut up for decades by his father, King Ahaz who was wicked and encouraged the people to turn away from God.

The doors were opened, and the filth cleaned out. Well, I am a temple and I have some “stuff” that needs cleaned out. Bad attitudes, ugly mindsets, laziness, anger... the whole lot of it. I need the fresh breath of the Spirit to blow in me. I need the fruit of the Spirit to grow in me. 

I don’t enjoy feeling weak and vulnerable. I like to feel strong, able and in control. But I wonder if experiencing this winter season might help keep my perspective in the right spot. Eyes off myself, lean on Jesus all the harder. and keep my mind in the truth of God’s word. 

I’m rather weak, but He is strong. He makes up the slack. He blesses what I give. I sit here and offer my words, and it is enough. I know by faith, He will touch you through my words. 

Are you weak and brittle? Are you a hot mess? Don’t check out, my beloved friend. It doesn’t feel good. You want to sit on the sidelines of life. I get it. But. Don’t. 

Allow Him to open your temple doors. Let Him clean out the trash that’s accumulated. The most important thing is that He has our hearts. We have His favor. That our hearts are right. 

In this winter season, let’s dig in deep. Let’s get our hearts right. Be still and know He is God. Growth will come in time and you’ll be thriving once again. 

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