January 15th // Amanda Parker

Posted on by SpokaneYFC

“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”
Song of Solomon 2:11-12

If you were in Spokane this last weekend I imagine that many of you, like me, rejoiced at the first sight of sunshine that we’ve had in quite a while. I realize that this statement is pretty cliché and cheesy, but that little dose of sun made the weight of these winter days immediately feel 10 times lighter.

For most of my life, I’ve been a big fan of long, cold, cozy winters—lingering snow and chilly nights are things I generally enjoy. Winter months are for slowing down, inviting your loved ones in from the cold, all enjoying all things restful and warm. Winter is wonderful! Usually…

Maybe it’s that our world seems to be in dire need of a little extra light as of late, or perhaps I just need to take more Vitamin D, but this year I have found myself longing for brighter morning light, and sweet spring air much earlier than in past years. So when the sun made it’s appearance this weekend I was thrilled. It was easier to wake up in the morning, easier to be kind to myself and to others, and easier to reflect on the blessings that God has so graciously given me.

To be totally honest, it was a little humbling to catch myself in the midst of such a dramatic mood shift when the sun was shining. I stopped to think about why a shift in the weather could turn my heart so quickly toward thankfulness, a renewed energy, patience, etc., and found myself feeling convicted of that fact that, recently, I can’t say with confidence that I’ve been acting as a “light” in the lives of those around me. With the distraction of colder and drearier days, it’s been all too easy for me to focus on my own worries and shut myself into my own little world, both physically and relationally.

I don’t mean to say that our environment can’t take a real physical and spiritual toll on us, or that setting aside time to step away and care for ourselves at times is wrong; I just know that in the past few weeks I’ve noticed a pattern in myself to retreat from others (and from God), and dwell on my worries when things get hard. It’s a habit that I truly think is just as detrimental to my body, mind, and spirit as indulging in unhealthy food or holding a grudge. It separates me from the heart of God and makes me lose sight of His calling for us to love others well, and to bring levity to this broken world. I’ve justified dwelling on my worries as being ‘reflective and thoughtful about my current season of life,’ and thought to myself ‘I just want it to be spring… I’ll start a healthier routine once it’s not so dark all the time.’

But aren't we called by Christ to be a light in this world? (Matthew 5:16) Perhaps life would be easier if the verse said "Let other people make the world a better place and glorify God, while you sleep in a little longer and wait for things to change," but God has so much more in store for us than that. What better time to glorify Him and share His good news (the brightest light of all), than when the rest of the world is dreary. In the same way that I know I will never stick to a New Year’s resolution if I only decide to start on the first of the year (as if that day is any better than another to pursue healthy goals), I know that ‘waiting for spring’ to adjust my attitude is just silly.

If I want this world to be lighter, I need to intentionally reflect on what it means to ‘let my light shine for Him’ in all seasons, and on all days—cold, rainy and slushy as they may be! Because I know that God is good and faithful. His promises endure all winters, darkness has already been defeated, and in just a few weeks His creation will remind us that all things grow and heal—no matter how long the winter lasts.

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."


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