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En(courage)ment for hard times, seasons

soul-winter in the middle of summer

Right now in summer, maybe you are in a soul winter. Seasons of winter can be hard because it would seem that not much is being produced. The flow has slowed down. The growth has paused. The fruit has dried up. All the rest of the world is in summer-fiesta-bumper-crop mode, maybe it seems, and you are feeling isolated, cold, a little bit confused about direction. Nothing new has been planted yet.

But God works in winter too. Even inner winter during outer summer.

Winter is a time for rest. For peace. To wait and listen. To look for beauty. And to digest the old season. A time to deepen roots. To focus on priorities. To strengthen trust.

It is a sabbath season. Perhaps for you, it is meant to be a sabbath summer.

We live this life in seasons. If we follow His leading, the seasons will turn just as sure the sun sets and rises, just as faithfully as the march of time. They last different lengths of time, yes, but they do change. Sometimes we feel that they will never change. Spring might never come. We start to fear. We second guess. Maybe we have made a mistake. Maybe this is the wrong path. Maybe maybe maybe.

Doubt can grow in winter, like mistletoe in the naked trees. Deadly.

The trick? Look with spiritual eyes at all God is doing in your heart, at all He has done. All the ways He has brought you this far. All the love and hope and help. See. It is just winter, that’s all. No more. You are not forsaken. Spring will come.

So in winter, in the quiet, when you have felt led to dial down, because of weariness or tragedy or simply the stirrings of your soul, when you have walked away from all the noise, when you have shed your leaves and are still a little sore and insecure from some pruning – of relationships, direction, goals, ideals, pursuits, illusions, endeavors – know that He is working. Know that there is something here to learn. The purpose of pruning is maximum impact.

Just as I pinch the suckers off of my tomato plants to give them their best chance, He allows us to be shortened, humbled, refined, using circumstances, relationships, adversity and heartache. It is for maximum identity, for excellent fruit, for economy of flow.

Winter is like pruning. We are reduced to our base. We are forced to simplify. It is not pretty. We are easily misunderstood.

Abide here in winter. Enter in to the process. Sometimes the process hurts a little. But all of it can and will be used for your good. God wastes nothing in our lives. The weather is not our source of hope, but the Maker of Heaven and earth. He is your helper. He is your Source. A Master Gardener.

There are certain things that never bloom without a deep freeze: tulips, apples, poppies.

Our lives are the same. Certain seeds in our souls, in our destinies, cannot germinate without the cold. Without the quiet. Without shedding old skins. Without a cocoon. Without deep and thorough rest.
Trust Him. Relax. Listen.
Know that God uses winter as surely as spring and summer and fall. Know that He is faithful.
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Discussion

One thought on “soul-winter in the middle of summer

  1. You are wise for your years, an old soul some call it. I say wise like Daniel. I needed this reminder as I’ve been in winter/wilderness. Just this week I cleared a plot and planted wildflower seeds. Now to wait. Another patch is cleared, weeded but laying still. That’s me. I dearly appreciate this affirming word, Jillian. 💕

    Posted by kathryneann | June 8, 2016, 11:36 am

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