Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter Reflection

They are calling for snow again in the Rocky Mountains, and at the end of February, with the snowiest month still to come, I have hit the winter wall.  The truth is I am a beach girl at heart who fell in love with a modern-day mountain man, an Alaskan one at that.  So here, a mile high in the Lower 48, is compromise.  Many things I love about this place.  The lingering threat of snow is not one of them.  

And as I cringe at the white flakes appearing again in the forecast and look out at the landscape partially buried in old, dirty, trampled snow awaiting a makeover of crisp white, I remember.  I remember a different season, a brighter, warmer season.  One where life is in full bloom, beautifully dressed in color and all this raining down of gifts and grace is illuminated and exposed. A time when I feel enfolded in the Giver’s presence and I see the path stretched out.

That season seems an immeasurable distance from this dry, cold, dark spell and I strain to take notice of Him.  The shade is drawn on any signs of life and there is “just enough light for the step I’m on”.

But God is still God, faithful even in this darkness, in this apparent deadness and I trust that new life is underground just waiting to emerge because He promises.  And so, I wait, sometimes patiently, for this promise fulfilled.  And as I do I recognize the need for this deadness, this dark season. It’s a time of reflection, stillness, remembering who He is, what He can do, what He is certain to do, what He has already done.  A time to slow down and remember the deserts He has brought me through, the manna He has sent straight through the clouds and the distance We have traveled together from the tents to the Promised Land… and back again.

The dark cold of winter has a way of stopping me still.  The darkness reminds me, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5b)  So, I trust His heart with all that I have and I know new life is looming and I wait in anticipation for this glory, His glory. 

God is love.  He is a tender Father and this time with me in the shadows, me groping and straining and searching for Him, He uses it to draw me close, to whisper in the night, “Never will I leave you.” (Hebrews 13:5b)  So I stretch out my hands, feeling around for Him to lead me because I can’t see to lead myself.  I am blind.  But it’s worth this short season for what awaits on the other side.  Just ask Paul.

So, finally, I stop wrestling in the dark to find the path, stop fighting to move forward and I surrender and stand still on sure footing. And in my giving up to see beyond here, beyond this moment, I gasp in wonder and notice I am still enfolded in His presence and drowning in the gifts.  And I wonder how many I have missed as I was frantically trying to know the moments beyond this one.

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#313. Working alongside the Chef in the kitchen, stirring around small talk and sweet caresses.

#314. A little boy reading and the smile that comes with "The End".

#315. A sweet little voice singing his ABC's so out of tune, full head of blonde hair cocked to one side, smile wide, body bouncing 26 times.

#316. Putting down the shovel to make one big snow angel which encourages a small snow angel right next to me... "They're holding hands, Mama."

#317. All the gifts wrapped up in this one moment.

#318. The unending whispers from the Creator of the universe... and the feeling that I need pen and paper at my side at all times... or a voice recorder.

#319.  Seeing siblings all around me reunite on school grounds after a day apart.

#320.  The wetness in the last snow... spring is near.