Last Monday I ran out on Narrow Gauge road. It was cold out and the road was covered in ice and snow, which on one hand was not exactly unexpected, given the snow and deep cold of Christmas week. On the other hand it was a bit unusual. This has not been the kind of weather we have known to this point of our journey in Dulce.
Many times we have told our family and friends back in the Midwest how the temperature can regularly change 20-30 degrees in a day, so that when snow falls here it often melts away in a few days in any place where the sun shines on it. We get cold and snow but not the kind that endures, certainly not that endures in the way it does where we lived before. For all practical purposes we could expect winter in Minnesota to begin the first day of November and last until the end of March. When the first good storm of the season came you could be fairly certain that snow would be on the ground continually for 3-4 months.
The present conditions in Dulce are unusual for our experience here, but we have been through many winters that were much worse, and we know that winter, while occasionally unpleasant and inconvenient, doesn't last.
Thinking about winter as I ran reminded me that the rough seasons of our lives don't go on without end either. Going a step farther, when we travel through life as followers of Jesus we can have a completely different understanding of all times, good and bad.
First, He promises to always hold those who have come to Him in faith. So we can go through hard times knowing that He is present with us and will never let us go.
Second, because we know that He is with us, we can begin to seek to understand His purposes in our hard times. There may be something about a particular struggle that He is using to shape us in His image. At some point during our struggle we need to turn our attention off of ourselves and onto Him, so that we can begin to see and understand His purposes.
And lastly, we need to remember that He has promised His children a future that is better than anything they can imagine. The seasons of the calendar come and go. The unrelenting cold and snow will pass to the warmth and beauty of spring and summer, a cycle that repeats over and over. But the time-line for believers in Jesus extends beyond the horizons of this world and into eternity. We know that one day that Jesus, our Savior and Lord, will carry us to a place where well be with Him forever. Revelation 21:3-4 says,
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
If you are going through a period of struggle in your life, know that by faith in Jesus you have a sure and certain hope that will not fail. Ever.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.