Beauty in Every Season
Winter....cold, stormy uninviting and ugly some days. Plummeting temperatures seek to seize everything I need for daily living in a cold and merciless ice prison. My storm door...frozen. My snow shovel...frozen. My car door(surprise surprise)...frozen. I fearfully clutch my keys knowing that if I drop them they too will become victims of this winter's freezing frenzy.
The wind vehemently opposes my attempt to get back to my house. I am somewhat disadvantaged in this battle since my current layers of toque, scarf and hood have almost completely cut off my peripheral vision. With my eyes forced to squint everything seems to look the same until I crash into a hedge I don't remember being near my front door only to find out I'm in my neighbors driveway. I look up, regain my whereabouts and set a course for my actual front door.
Everything feels hard in this season
The ease of the better days of summer are just a distant memory of last year. In tough season's I tend to keep my head down a sort of "grin and bare it" mentality. Perhaps residual compliance to advice I've received in my life to just, " keep your head down, focus ahead and you'll get through this!" Although some amount of "focusing ahead" is necessary to help us get through life's tough season's today I did something different. I looked up. To my surprise I saw something quite spectacular. Commonly known as a sun-dog, which is a phenomenon that occurs in the sky when the atmospheric conditions are just right, this one today was really quite stunning. It was actually beautiful.
....And I was quite amazed to find something so beautiful in the middle of something so ugly....
In Isaiah 61:3 the Lord promises people who are hurting that He will give them a "crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning." Interestingly enough it has to be bitterly cold for sun-dogs to appear. Which is why they are most commonly spotted in the arctic (or when your hometown resembles the arctic!). Even in this bitter cold, though, there was beauty today. The Lord promises He will bring out the beauty in what we go through as well. He will turn it around and "cause all things to work for the good of those" who love Him (Rom.8:28).
The darkest times in my life have yielded the greatest fruit and when I look back at them I can see how God was at work turning each hardship into a thing of beauty. Today I saw there is indeed beauty in every season. Although in some it is harder to see, it is there. We must look up and focus on the One whose promises are sure, whose love endures, and who will give us beauty for our ashes.