It’s here. Did you miss it?
Spring has arrived. But some of us are still stuck in winter.
There’s a condition of the soul that can best be described as winter. It’s dark, cold, and bleak. It causes us to avoid public places, focus on our problems, and dream of better days.
We know that the actual winter will eventually give way to spring. But sometimes it can seem like the winter of our soul is permanent. Almost like conditions in Narnia, “Always winter but never Christmas.”
When the days get longer, when the sun gets closer and warmer, then spring emerges. It’s a bit like that for the winter of our soul as well. When the light and warmth of God gets closer and warmer, our soul-winter begins to thaw, and hope springs again.
So how do we facilitate that kind of transition? I would suggest that one thing we can do when caught in the winter of our soul, is to seek out the light and warmth of God as revealed in his written word, the Bible. As I wrote a few weeks ago, Lent is a wonderful chance to adopt a new habit. The temptation is to avoid God’s word. It doesn’t “feel good.” But just like those late days of winter, we don’t always see immediate results of more light and warmth.
You may want to begin with Jesus. Start in one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). Just read. Set aside an hour one evening and read the entire gospel. Let the person and message of Jesus begin to seep into the dark, cold places of your soul. Then read it again later. If you persist in this, you will eventually notice that the winter of your soul is being punctuated by signs of life. A blade of grass here, a flower popping up there. And before you know it, spring will have arrived.
Know that you’re in good company. No less than the famous artist Chance the Rapper recently stepped away from his normal routines for an extended sabbatical of getting to know God’s word.
[Here’s a related article with some great suggestions on how to implement this in your own life.]
You can’t control the seasons. And you can’t even control the arrival of soul-winter. But you can do something to accelerate the arrival of spring. Start packing your scarves and gloves in a box. Start watching for signs of life. Don’t miss it.