We’ve had one of the snowiest winters on record with more snow predicted within days. It has caused my little corner of the world to virtually cease spinning, and life to drone on in a series of purposeless, grey days. It has been a mirror to my soul. I have been in a grey place. It has not been completely without light, but it has definitely been heavy and dim. I don’t mean that I’ve been depressed, but rather that my spiritual clarity has been shrouded in cloud cover. And where there is darkness, God is not there.
I don’t know if you ever experience this, but I’ve had what old timers would call a “come to Jesus meeting”. He’s been taking me to task over some things that I heard Him say last year about grace and works, but somehow didn’t fully apprehend. (Pride goeth before destruction and all that.) Now I find myself on my face in the school of God, pleading for mercy and further instruction. I’ve lost my way. I’ve stumbled in darkness. I’ve been walking and talking through a mist of confusion. I need a light to shine on my feet so that I can see the ancient path, but somehow, this time I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as flipping a switch.
I was standing in my kitchen just a few minutes ago and began to notice a brightness lift the snow-day gloom around me. You know how it is when the cloud-cover thins out just a bit, and though the sun isn’t fully revealed, the air becomes lighter, reminding you that above the clouds is radiance, and warmth, and a healing balm of life to the soul. It made me realize that this too is true of my spiritual condition. I’m beginning to see some light. Things are not fully revealed, and I don’t have total clarity, but the darkness is lifting.
I think the hardest thing about winter is waiting for spring. In months of death and dormancy and darkness, I long for the fragrance of renewed earth and growth and life. I am tantalized by the thought of fruit hidden behind blooms hidden behind seemingly lifeless branches bare of splendor. I know all those things are there, concealed from sight, waiting for light to call them to life again, but it’s the waiting that gets me. And it is waiting in the gloom of a spiritual winter that is hard for all of us when we experience it. I know the full illumination of the Light of the World is just beyond my gaze right now because I have much hard-hearted ground to plow. There are some things in my life that have to die, or be frozen into dormancy. I have some rest coming too; rest from works that lead to death…have led to death. There is work to be done in this winter season but I know that light is coming. Life is coming.
I hope that this finds you spiritually in the full bloom of spring despite the weather outside, but if you too find yourself in the grey days, take heart. Have hope. Do the work that this season allows. Warmer days are just ahead and when they come, bear the fruit this season allowed you to store up within you and praise God for the Light of the world.