Five years ago, in the dark night of my soul, I despaired.
I could not see that spring was coming.
That resurrection was coming.
While the calendar turned through the seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall, I remained in the winter of my soul. I laid in bed, in the dark gray light, hidden in the shadows.
And in my winter, there was quiet, resting, waiting.
As I continue to walk this journey of seasons, I inch toward spring, confidently held in His grace. I rest in the truth that despite what I feel, Jesus is coming.
Now facing the rising sun, I know that God has been preparing me through the winter of my soul, to bask in the Sonlight.
In Genesis 1:14 we read that God created the seasons and called them good. They are good for us and for all His creation. In contemplating the seasons, I see in God's grand story perfectly planned growth, harvest, death, and resurrection.
God brings rain in season, fruit, and harvest in His time says Leviticus 26:3-5.
Not when I am ready for it to end.
Not until the work is completed.
When God declared the seasons good, that included days of rest, seasons to leave the fields fallow, winter for all, that they may be renewed.
That we too, would bear much fruit, sharing in His resurrection so that we may make His Goods News of life known to all!
I pray that I never lose the perspective of winter. That though things seem dead, yet, there is hope. Lamentations 3:19-32 reads:
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust—there may yet be hope. Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.”
The morning comes.
The church historically holds an Easter vigil. The believers pray all night in confident expectation
that Resurrection is coming.
Real resurrection of the soul.
I, too, pray with confident expectation that, because He lives, my future is more than this! I am not condemned to death. I need not live in winter forever.
Despite how long winter feels, spring is coming. If the winter of your soul seems long, longer than you want, take heart, He is coming.
Psalm 63 Meditations
As I sat in the steamy bathroom with my little one, holding him close to ease his fear while the coughing wracked his little body, I remembered. “Lord, heal this little boy. Give him relief. Calm his body and spirit.” I remembered that each of my children has had a few bouts with croup and always in the middle of the night. I remembered the words of Psalm 63.
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me…
My child longed for comfort and rest and relief. I longed to give these to him. He was satisfied to just be held in the shadow of my arms. He clung to me.
Many, many nights I have called to God, through the watches of the night, on my bed. There is something very lonely about the middle of the night. There is silence, stillness, waiting for the morning.
During a dark season of my life I literally clung to this verse on a notecard or clutched my very small bible to my chest turned to this psalm in the middle of a panic attack, in the middle of the night.
I recall this psalm when my thoughts are anxious about things out of my control.
I remember God is powerful and He upholds me when I am with a sick child in the middle of the night. We have a Father who never sleeps nor slumbers when the world does. He works all shifts---all watches of the night.
When I settle in with this psalm, I am stilled and can find rest eventually.
Under the shadow of His wings.
If you find yourself awake during the watches of the night, remember He is there. Remember His power as He worked in the past, remember He is our help. It is His right hand that upholds us.
Lord, thank you for your steadfastness. We praise your power and faithfulness to us and to all generations before. Help us remember to call on you during any watch of the night. In Jesus’ name, Amen.