Today is October 23rd, the heart of autumn. Nearly harvest time. Typically my favorite part of the year. I love this season. Lately, God’s been showing me, however, the significance of spiritual seasons as well as the physical, revealing to me that the two aren’t always the same. My body is in the midst of autumn—but every other part of me is in the middle of a winter.
In winter, everything is quiet. Still. There is a sacred silence, a holy tranquility. On the surface, nothing seems alive. The trees are bare. All the flowers have wilted. The ground is buried beneath heavy blankets of ice and snow. Everything appears barren. Desolate. Unfruitful.
But what we don’t see is that there are stirrings underground, even in the dead of winter. As the artist Andrew Wyeth so beautifully phrases it: “something waits beneath it. The whole story doesn’t show.” What seems to be dead is not really dead at all. When the time is right and the soil is ready, life will shoot up again. But until then—winter.
Winter typically isn’t a time of much activity. As I reflect on my life as of late, I see that this is absolutely true for me in this season. Like a bear, I’ve gone into deep hibernation. I’ve heard the Spirit whisper that this is my time to settle down in Him, to curl up and hide myself away in His warmth and intimacy. To rest. To reflect. To remain. To reform. Regenerate. To prepare.
My inclination has always been to resist a spiritual winter. It’s cold. Often dark. Uncomfortable. Sometimes hopeless. It’s a long, long night, and I ache for the morning. I want the warmth and the light. I want to see and bear fruit. I want to do and not be, to be active in ministry and not just…existing. Everything within me typically struggles against the winter. But not this time.
Something is different about this winter. He has helped me understand its necessity, how essential this season is for my spirit and my heart. As I stop fighting against it, I find that I actually begin to welcome it, start allowing myself to melt into this season of motionlessness. This winter is bringing out a reverence in me, a deep and rich adoration for the One who makes all things new…in due season.