"This winter I forgot how to hope for Spring. Not only was I in grief over the death of a loved one, but I felt that God Himself had moved far away. He had not done so, of course - my perception of His distance was only a feeling. Jesus was near, even though I had no awareness of His presence. I loved God simply by an act of will. I found myself face to face with every word I'd ever written or spoken about choosing to love the will of God.
I've begun to see God's wisdom in allowing me to go through such profound darkness devoid of any sense that He was with me As a result of this desolation, I now know that even in the harshest of spiritual winters, we can choose God. We can, no matter the depth of winter, choose to live for Him. We can do so in consolation and we can do so just as freely in spiritual barrenness. There is great freedom in such realization.
Plants need their seasons of dormancy as much as they need the warmth and sunlight of summer. I've thought in recent weeks of how a seed might feel (could it do so) during long months with no sign of the sun. Nothing would appear to be happening. All might seem empty and hopeless. Yet the appearance of such lifelessness would be far from the truth. The truth is: 'unless the grain falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain.. but if it dies, it produces much fruit.' (John 12:24). The burial of a seed in the ground is not the end of the plant - it is a beginning. The seed must lie hidden beneath the soil before a plant can spring forth, and then time must go by before that plant produces leaves... flowers... fruit...
It would appear that God's seasons are part of His "lesson plan." I have begun to see His cycles of planting, budding, growing, blooming, fruit-bearing, dormancy and new growth as an unmistakable parable...."
I pray to plumb the depths of this parable and bring forth fruit for my Lord Jesus Christ.
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