I love spring.  You can smell the earth and the air vibrates with new life.  There are blazes of color everywhere and the trees, shrubs, and bushes delight in displaying their new growth.  Hope seems to permeate the atmosphere as the world turns into soft pastel shades and our senses are enlivened by the sights, sounds, and aromas of spring. 

Summer arrives a short time later and there is growth everywhere.  With it comes the need to water the plants and mow the grass, but that is a small price to pay when we delight in the smell of newly mown lawn and the feel of damp soil under our feet.  There is growth everywhere and sheer joy and laughter infuse the air in this season.

Fall comes with its golden hues and brings with it the opportunity to cut back the branches and ready our world for the harsh winter weather that will follow all too quickly on its heels.  For me, autumn feels like a pensive season a time to prepare for the long, dismal, and dark nights that lie ahead.

Winter is my least favorite season.  The trees shed their leaves, the earth seems to shiver at the very idea that winter has arrived and gloom fills the air around us.  Everything looks dismal and dark and the only thought in everyone's mind is; "when will this season pass".

Though everything looks dead and lifeless on the outside the roots of all those trees, bushes, and shrubs go deeper and grow stronger. 

I have found this true of my own personal life.  I do not enjoy the winter season of my soul.  I feel vulnerable, exposed, and naked—my only wish is for spring to arrive once again.  But, I have found over and over that it is in the winter season of my soul that my roots grow strong and they go deep.  I learn deep and abiding trust in my Creator in those harsh seasons, I hold tightly to Him as the wind blows and threatens to topple me over.  Sometimes I can barely hear God in the winter storm, but when I stop to listen I hear His still, small voice echoing through the clouds promising me that, "weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning'.  

I know now why I love spring so much.  It is because I have experienced the dismal and dreariness of the winter and the invasive blackness of the night.  The winter of my soul has taught me to appreciate the beauty of a new day and a new season.  Somehow the intense darkness and cold of that time did something on the inside of me. I have a new sense of wonder, the world around me seems bright, I see God everywhere, and my heart is filled with overwhelming thankfulness that He has carried me through the darkest night and the dry season of my soul.

I don't enjoy winter, but I have a deep appreciation for that season of life.  Someone put it this way: "Grace grows best in winter.' 

If your soul is going through the winter of life my prayer is that you will hold tightly to the magnificent God you serve.  You may think He is silent, but His voice can penetrate through the darkest night and the thickest silence and shout these words: 'I am with you, I will never leave you or forsake you.' 

Take courage, my friend spring is on the way.

I am and always will be,

recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,