Sometimes it is difficult to talk about our internal pain especially when we are going through it. In all honesty, I do not enjoy the winter season of my soul. Like a tree stripped of its foliage, I feel naked and vulnerable.
There have been times throughout my Christian life when I have felt desperately broken on the inside. Sometimes it has been the agony of seeing one of my loved ones suffer immensely. At other times, it has been the anguish of ministry, sometimes illness, the loss of a loved one, or the internal pain of disappointments that have felt overwhelming. I have felt like a barren branch, snapped in two. Broken!
I am not sure I can adequately articulate the despair and agony of those seasons. I am not only tender on the inside; I am raw. So why do we have to go through naked seasons? What is the purpose of all that pain and internal agony? Let me share a few thoughts that have helped me when I go through the naked seasons of my soul.
· THE LOWER WE GO THE HIGHER WE REACH
I do know one thing, the lower my spirit goes the higher I reach. When I am desperate, and I have been there more than once in my life; I reach very high to touch my Jesus. I am reminded that He was broken for me, and that no one will understand my brokenness quite like He will. In those moments of desperation I reach higher than at other times because I have gone lower than I can sometimes bear. I reach out to touch His nail scarred hands to give me strength.
· THE DEEPER THE EXPERIENCE THE MORE THE FRAGRANCE
I do not fully understand suffering - I do not have all the answers. But I have seen with my eyes that the more pain people experience the sweeter they become. Of course, that is not always the case. Some people choose bitterness, but for those who accept their suffering and resign themselves to Jesus, their lives emanate a beautiful fragrance. Have you ever noticed how beautiful some of those desert flowers are? Out of the dry, barren soil, the beauty of the flora is all the more exquisite.
· WITHOUT DEATH THERE CAN NEVER BE RESURRECTION
Brokenness looks like a barren tree - stripped naked, bare and exposed. But as the winter passes and heralds in the spring that tree is clothed in all the glorious shades of the season. Fresh buds push through the barren branches and they are clothed with the vibrant shades of spring - new life has sprouted.
Imagine if we never went through winter! Would we ever appreciate the splendor of spring? No, the beauty of those muted shades reminds me that the winter season is passed and newness is breaking out around me. The birds seem to sing a sweeter refrain, the fragrance in the air is intoxicating and fills every part of my being with hope.
Do I enjoy the winter season of my soul? No, ten thousand times no! Would I be without those experiences – would I choose, if I had the choice, not to go through that time? No, a million times no! Why? Out of the broken, emptiness of the soil of my heart, hope has sprouted in all its glory. My soul is infused with a love for my broken Jesus, and somehow, someway, I want to live a more meaningful life for His honor and His glory. The winter season of my soul has prepared me for the next one - it has infused me with a new strength and given me courage to face my tomorrow.
Don't despise the winter season of your soul. Something beautiful will rise from the ashes and Jesus will give you a story worth sharing with other broken people. No season is ever wasted!
I love this song!
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,