As the new year begins, the prospect of spring seems a long long way off. Of the four seasons, winter may be the least appreciated, yet it is a season with a purpose. In winter God does incredible things through the nature around us, as He also prepares for the beauty of what is to come in springtime. Although the hours of daylight are short and the cold can wear on residents of the Northeast, it’s important to embrace winter and see the value of it as God prepares us for spring.
Just as there are seasons in nature, there are seasons in our spiritual lives. Spiritual winters can include times of quiet before God, times He is calling you to slow down, and times where opportunities in life come to a close. The quiet, peace and closure of winter make way for the new life, excitement and newness of the spring that is to come. While embracing the “winter” season is not always easy, we can spend too much time reminiscing about our beautiful “fall” and the days of “summer,” and miss out on the things that God chooses to do in us during our season of “winter.” Winter is a time when we have to trust in what lies ahead, as God allows things to end, before we can see what He has next. If we allow our pace to change during winter, we can take time to reflect on our lives and see how God changes things in our relationships, careers and in the various situations that He places us in.
When Jesus talks to the Pharisees in Luke 5, He draws a contrast between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. He shares a powerful parable to make it clear, but the Pharisees are unable to see the new beginning that lies ahead.
36 He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”Luke 5:36-39
Oftentimes, we eagerly look for the next thing that God has for us, but we must also be aware of the things in our lives that He wants to bring to a close.
As the new year begins it’s important to give God time and space in our lives, and to reflect on the blessings and challenges of this season. His plans and thoughts for our lives are so much greater than anything we can come up with on our own. We must trust Him with the things he brings to an end, and be thankful for our season of “winter,” knowing that a new “spring” lies ahead.
Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
More information can be found at FCA.org.