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Monday, April 6, 2015

Winter Is Over

As I look out my window snow is falling once again.  Although it feels like and at first glance it looks like Winter, the reality is Spring is here.  Knowing it is Spring was not enough to keep my feelings of despair from consuming me at that moment.  I caved to thoughts like "this Winter will never end,"  "I can't do this anymore" and "I hate this place, I need to move to the south." Wallowing in these negative feelings managed to distract me enough to forget not only that Spring is here but of the signs of promise my very own eyes had seen, my ears had heard and my body had experienced declaring Winter was over and that all things are being made new.

Over the last week, I had noticed the birds chirping in the morning.  Their sweet song which had been silenced by the harshness of Winter could no longer keep them from singing God's praises that Spring was to my ears.  Temperatures began to rise and there were days when I could feel the warmth of the sun healing the scars Winter had left behind.  I had also noticed our trees were blooming, even earlier than last year.  The hope of Spring overflowed from the depths of my heart and soul bringing with it healing, joy, peace and restoration.  Finally, this winter was over!  This had been a harsh, brutal, long and isolating season.  But it's over - HALLELUJAH, it's over!

Or was it?  We had a snowstorm on the first day of Spring and now even after seeing, feeling and hearing the promise of a new beginning today's reality seems to contradict and lead me to doubt the undeniable truth that Spring is here.  My eyes could only see the falling snow which continued to feed my heart and soul with anger, despair, hopelessness and negativity.  As I surrendered to the lie  my eyes suddenly caught a glimpse of the blooming trees.  Like the lens of a camera my eyes focused on the budding blossoms and I could no longer see the snow falling.  Oh yes, it was still snowing but Winter's attempt to have me believe his reign was not over failed.  God's grace intervened and once again opened my eyes to the promise of Spring.

This is so very true in our spiritual lives as well.  The Lord has declared Winter over in your life. You begin to experience the truth of Spring in your life with your senses and hope starts to overflow.  Just as  you begin to grab hold of the promise he, the enemy of our soul, will attempt to distract us with "snow storms" in an attempt to deceive us into thinking our Spring is not here and that our spiritual winter has not ended and never will.   He does this by trying to get our eyes off the promise, the evidence of God's involvement in your life which he has opened your eyes to  - the blooming tree. Once our eyes are no longer on the promise it is easy to succumb to negative whispers of doubt, mistrust, anger and hopelessness .

Winter can not last forever.   Our promise is Jesus Christ our Lord, Savior, Redeemer and Hope. Although easier said than done, we need to keep our eyes fixed on him.  Taking our eyes off of him, even for a moment, can distract us enough to forget what even our natural senses have experienced confirming, validating and ensuring you of the reality that can not be changed - The Promise of all things being made new in Jesus.

Do not think for a minute the enemy is going to throw in the towel and accept his defeat with a good attitude.  On the contrary, his anger towards you will only fuel his desire all the more to destroy you.

One of his greatest tactics is distraction.  He will do anything and everything to get us to take our eyes off  Jesus.  Because he knows the minute we do we start to sink; remember Peter?  He walked on the water until he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the storm around him. Matthew 14:22-33.  Knowing this, the author of Hebrews admonishes us in chapter 12 verse 2 to keep our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.  The enemy will attempt to deceive you that the winter of your life will never end.  But The Lover of our souls beckons us with his voice to come away with him because Winter is over...

How has the enemy tried to distract you?

What have you been focusing on instead of Jesus?

What signs of Spring have you noticed in your life?

Has the enemy distracted you enough to make you forget the signs of promise God has given you?