Looking out my window I’m pondering the fact that there are now more days behind us for winter than those ahead of us. With every passing day of no snow, we are one day closer to spring! According to Environment Canada we have actually passed what is known as “the dead of winter”. In other words, statistically, there are more days of frigid temperatures behind us, than ahead of us. So, that’s the good news! Especially if you fall into the category of one who does not like winter. Even though we are beyond the “dead of winter,” in all honesty, we have to admit this has been a rather quiet one. While it’s been cold, from a snow aspect, there hasn’t been a whole lot. I know it’s only January and we could still see more snow, but so far, so good.
Weather is always an interesting topic of discussion. In many cases conversations turn to weather when it’s really cold and snowy, or in the scorching heat of summer. Other than that, weather conversations are usually at a minimum when we hit that “perfect weather moment”. Of course, depending on your preference, that “perfect weather moment” can mean something totally different. For me, I usually don’t complain about the heat. Personally, I do not like being cold and during the winter many times my toes are cold! As a result, I don’t mind the heat of summer, so you don’t usually hear me say much about hot temperatures.
Winter is a time when many people struggle with depression and what is sometimes called the winter blues. Days are shorter and overall there is just a sense of gray dampening the mood. At least with snow things can look white, but this year has been quite different. With no snow, we see much mud, dead grass and broken branches lying on the ground. This definitely does not help improve our mood. While Paul tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice”, when the days are gloomy it is hard to “rejoice”.
So how do we “rejoice at all times”? We rejoice when we recognize our hope is in God. He always has a plan and that plan is to encourage us. At times, we won’t like a certain situation that seems to be “trying us beyond what we think we can handle.” But, God has promised He will “never leave us nor forsake us”. When we find His hope in the situation, we then find encouragement no matter what.
Even though I don’t like snow – and I know I’m not alone – there is a reason and a purpose for snow. Believe it or not, but a blanket of snow actually protects the ground and allows nature to take its course. There is a need for rest. Just as we need rest, nature needs rest. The blanket of snow protects the ground from the harshness of a hard and cold winter. Everything needs a rest. Whether it’s nature, fields, trees or anything else, there is always a built-in rest cycle. If we ignore the rest cycle, sickness and other problems soon set in.
The author of Proverbs tells us “the cold of snow helps refresh the soul”. We live in a world that at times demands us to go non-stop, 7 days a week, almost 24 hours a day. Many are constantly tethered to work via smartphones for email and other tasks. But in the end, no rest means we are not refreshed. At some point that lifestyle will catch up with us. What do your days look like? Are you getting enough rest? As we find ourselves in the midst of winter, maybe this is a good time to slow down, take a breath, rest and relax. Let the “snow of the winter refresh your soul”.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.