I live on the Prairies in a little town in Ellendale, North Dakota, USA. Winter can be a brutal season with biting cold winds that slap you in the face at 50mph. But, whenever I see flocks of snow geese heading northward towards the Canadian tundra, I know that spring is on the heels of winter, and I can’t wait.
For me, winter is the naked season because the trees shed their leaves and are bare and exposed. As a Christ follower, that is how I feel in the winter seasons of my life. I never enjoy them, and yet, somehow it is always in those dismal times of life that I grow the most and learn so much. I do a lot of shedding, I feel vulnerable, naked and exposed. But, I grow! And in the spring I find myself clothed with a new strength and fortitude, and I am equipped to handle the next season that comes my way.
So, what do we do when we find ourselves in this naked season? Let me make a few suggestions:
· Keep your eyes on Jesus.
This is one time when you want to focus on the Author and Perfecter of your faith. Don’t try to take control of the situation. Proverbs says it beautifully; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.” Some things do not make sense and there are circumstances we may never understand, that is why simple, childlike trust is so important in this season of your life.
· Remind yourself that bad things can happen to good people.
My son had a terrible car accident some years ago. He was in Trauma ICU for 28 days. It was the most horrific time of my life as we fought for the life of our precious boy. Not for one moment did I think that God was punishing our family or my son. No, bad things also happen to Christ followers because we live in the world. I reminded myself that I served a beautiful, faithful, loving and kind God. In the midst of your naked season, remind yourself that God is with you – He cares for you and you are not alone!
· Remember every season comes to an end.
I love what the Psalmist said; “Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” My precious friend, your night will come to an end. No trial lasts forever!
There is nothing quite like a Prairie sunrise! It is spectacular. Early this morning the sky was ablaze with the most incredible coral and lavender hues. Breathtaking! But, I would probably not appreciate the sunrise if I had not been through the invasive blackness of the night.
I trust that, in the midst of your naked season, you will be “sheltered by the Most High.” As you fix your gaze firmly on Jesus, He will see you through. You will have a story to tell – of a faithful God who was with you through the bareness of your naked season. The snow geese are on the horizon and spring is on its way!