by Jennifer Duncan
It’s just about time for it to be over! The rumblings have almost stopped. I’m referring to the running debate on social media about whether it should snow or not…as if the strength of a debate determines this! It’s amusing to hear from those who demand no snow, and start pushing for an early spring, vs. those who beg for snow and post happy little GIF dances when it occurs. My response to snow is, “It’s beautiful!” My response to spring is, “It’s beautiful!” My response to fall is, “It’s beautiful!” And my response to summer is, “It’s beautiful!”
Granted, I am not part of a hard-working crew who make the roads passable, and I am not the one who has to feed livestock, regardless of the weather. True, I don’t have to make arrangements for child care when school is out and work is not. Still, my positive response to every season, is more than a lazy look out the wintertime window. It is a hard-won attitude adjustment that I’m hoping becomes a discipline of gratitude.
Challenging circumstances come in every season of life. Just as winter holds some harsh realities in its cold winds, so life’s waning years bring some physical challenges and wistful memories. When the snows of winter fall, though, it is a welcome reminder… that the purity of God’s love and forgiveness covers our sin (Psalm 85:2). He sees us white, and unmarred, like the snow, when we choose, by faith, to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness (Isaiah 1:18).
Spring is also a clear reminder of His faithfulness, with its fresh life and renewal all around. As surely as Jesus burst from the tomb on that first Easter, His life is born in me when I believe, and, like the flowers of springtime, I can become “the fragrance of Christ” in my world (2 Corinthians 2:14). Then the burning heat of summer carries with it the reminder that He continues to refine me with fire…that even heat is cleansing and welcome. And fall…lovely fall…reminds me that there is beauty in change as well. As I allow the Spirit to pinpoint the things still in me that need to be transformed…the selfishness, the willful disobedience…I get ready again for the pure snow-covering of His mercy.
So…as the seasons come and go, let’s set a new rule in place in our hearts, “No complaining allowed!” Resolve to praise God in every season, for lessons learned and faith renewed.
Thank Him for the pristine white of snowy winter.
Thank Him for the budding promise of spring.
Thank Him for the cleansing heat of summer.
Thank Him for the riotous color of fall’s changing days.
Look out the window and see, that “It’s ALL beautiful!” Lift up a grateful heart to God, in every season, for the reminders of His abiding and sustaining love.
Jennifer is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is mom to two grown (twin) sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law and four granddaughters. Her late husband, John, pastored two churches in Barry County, Missouri, and one in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Jennifer serves in teaching, music and lay counseling through her church, Arnhart Baptist Church, Purdy, Missouri. She also enjoys leading retreats and Bible studies for women.