Conflict of Season

The sweat trickles down my face, reminding me that it is summer. Still summer. 

My kids swim and I “look at this!” faithfully as they jump and dive into the coolness of the water, splashing in, coming up for air.

I have never been much for the pool. Even as a kid I’d splash around for a bit before settling in to a lounge chair to observe. So here I sit, sweating on the sidelines in the South Texas heat. Next is autumn though, where digits will drop to two instead of three and slowly the oppressive heat will give way to cooler temps. It may come later than other parts of the country but eventually it relents. 

The summer will END.

What about this winter, though, the one in my soul?

Seasons of the year are predictable. We know the routine: summer, fall, winter, spring. Repeat.

But seasons of the soul? 

When do they end? When do they begin?

I fluff my shirt to fan myself and take another sip of tea before calling out to the boy child, reminding him, “No running!” (Again.) I shake my head and smile at this boy child of mine who has had both stitches and staples this summer. 

While I reposition my chair to get out of the blazing sun now breaking through the leaves of the tree above me, I wish there were a way to let those beams instead filter into my inner being. There, it is icy and cold from this tundra of sorts that we’ve been trudging through. 

I want to believe eventually it ends, this winter. It has been a period of barrenness, isolation. The harvest from the preceding autumn has all but been consumed. 

We’ve been rationing the joy, hope, peace, and faith of days gone by for quite some time now. As the season wears on, the reminders of God’s goodness in the land of the living seem to slip through our fingers like sand. 

“He was faithful then. 
He will be faithful now.”

We say it slowly, choosing to believe.

Every season serves a purpose:
Spring for planting.
Summer for growing. 
Autumn for harvesting. 
Winter for… I pause.

What is winter for? 

A resting. A drawing in. A reflecting. 

Is that the purpose? All this time wasted striving, longing and I was supposed to be leaning in, listening. 

Finally, I hear it. I hear His voice in the bitter cold wind. His voice isn’t the wind itself, no. It is the wind that carries His voice. Small. Quiet. 

Unexpected. 

He is here.

He is present in every season, true:
…In the blooming of spring.
…in the growth of Summer.
…in the harvest of autumn.

But perhaps it’s in the barrenness of winter when the colors are muted, when the growth is unseen, when the harvest is gathered…. there! In that stillness we can truly HEAR, in that dismal we can SEE, in that coldness our senses are awakened to FEEL.

Yes, eventually this season will end. Until then, I will choose to lean in, bundle tighter, and listen more intently. I will choose to find Him here until winter gives way to spring again.

I stir the ice in my coffee and drink in deeply, refreshing body and soul, as my daughter flips off the diving board.

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