A few years ago, on a very cold winter day, I waited with a young man, his sister, and her toddler son  for help to arrive for their broken down rental truck.  As we shivered in the cold they told me about the sermon they’d heard that past Sunday in church.  Their pastor told them that it’s during the long, cold months of winter that the roots of trees and perrenial plants have the most growth.  It’s during the winter when the world seems cold and stark, and trees are bare – showing no signs of growth on the outside, that their roots are growing deeper and stronger.  The strengthening and deepening of the roots will yield to growth in the spring, and will also enable the trees to better withstand storms that are sure to come.

The Bible says there is a season for everything under heaven…and also a purpose.  Bring to mind the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” from the Byrds?  That song was written as an adaptation of scripture found in Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…He has made everything beautiful in its time…for there is a time for every purpose and work.     ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-17

We go through ‘seasons’ in life, too.  We have seasons when things are going well, seasons of growth and seasons of joy.  We also have seasons when we feel we’re in a winter stage of darkness, difficulty, and sometimes even dormancy, when things seem cold and bleak.   Remember that it’s during the winter seasons of our lives that God can work within us to help our roots of faith grow deeper and stronger!  He allows us to have these seasons so that later we’ll be able to flourish and grow, and when the inevitable storms of life come blowing through, we might bend and sway, but we won’t break.

Knowing that God has a purpose for the times and seasons of life – especially the hard times, encourages me and gives me hope as I trust in Him.  I hope the same is true for you.

On the cold, chilling days of winter, remember that God is at work doing unseen things that will bring bring forth great and wondrous things in His perfect timing – just like the colors and joys of Spring!

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”      – Jeremiah 17:7-8

For a beautiful visual presentation of the verses in Ecclesiastes 3, go to YouTube video:    “Turn! Turn! Turn! Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 MV”

May God bless you and warm your heart, even on the coldest of days.  🙂