From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

Winters of Life

I never really understood what real winter was until I moved to SE British Columbia. Yes, we had the changing seasons in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. It gets colder through the winter months; even freezing but it wasn’t winter when compared to here. Here it’s normal to wear a few layers of clothing. It’s normal to bundle up children so much they can hardly move, to dig out driveways, scrape ice off your car, to do all those things that go along with snow , ice, and winter.

I have experienced “winters” in my spiritual life too. We all do. We have to winterize for them to be ready to face them. When winter comes it is a time of bleak and dark dreary days. We must face the fact that winter can be hard and the trials are hard. Just like the season of winter, our spiritual “winters” can leave us discouraged, lonely, and depressed.

There are some things that can make the cold of our winter very intense. We need to winterize and guard against them.
Seal Up those cracks
When we are going through hardships it’s so easy to let our guard down. Then it’s easy for the negative influences to creep in through those cracks. That can chill us to the core. It may well-meaning but misguided comments from friends or worldly philosophy. It all can work overtime on us as we face difficult times in our lives. It’s time to bring out the weather-stripping and block those cracks. Spending time in God’s word is the best way to do this. If we hear from God it helps block out the cold winter air of the world from seeping into our lives.
Cold Attitude
During difficult times it’s easy to develop a bad attitude. We become cranky and out of sorts with our family and anyone who we come in contact with. We also tend to complain more about anyone and anything. The Bible has a lot to say about a complaining attitude. After all; that is why the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years! We have to remember that no one else can fix our bad attitudes. Only we can do that. It’s not easy either to adjust your attitude during a “winter” because we have allowed it to weigh us down. I’ve found that most effective way to begin to break down a bad attitude is to take a step back and remember God is well….God! He loves me more than we can imagine and He will see me through.
The Storm Hits!
You think you are prepared then it hits with a vengeance. The blizzard, a real white out with strong winds. It knocks out all the power and you can’t see your way. Circumstances in our lives can also be devastating. Jobs are lost, family members pass away,friendships struggle, people let you down. It all piles up like the winter snow. You are blinded just as you would be in that blizzard. You think you just can’t go on. You can’t see what’s down the road and it makes you fearful. I think that during these times we need to remember that God sees the outcome and His plan is perfect.
The Cold Cave of Depression
Better bundle up because if you are going through a difficult winter season. Those dark caves of depression could be just around the corner. The dark days of winter can have a depressing effect on us. Dark and difficult times in our lives can do the same. They can weigh us down so much that we can hardly move. The problem is that when we are in the midst of a “winter” it is so easy to give in to the “why me” and “I can’t take this” thoughts. Depression is one of the worst things of a “winter”. It causes severe frost bite! There’s no easy way out of depression. Keep in communication with God and guard against it. He will not lead you into those “dark caves”. If you lose sight or can no longer see who is leading you through the storm you just might wander into a “dark cave”. Know the truths of God’s word and meditate on them. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

We will all have “winters” in our lives but choosing how we deal and prepare for them can make all the difference in the world. So, are you winterized?

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