When we think about spring some pretty cheerful ideas come to mind especially for gardeners but all the planting doesn't take place on beautiful spring days. That works if you want cucumbers and zinnias in July but if you want a lovely spring garden you must plant it months ahead in the fall of the previous year. I hardly ever get around to it because that's when I'm usually busy finishing up the honey chores. So for me the tulip and daffodil bulbs are often planted in the worst weather. This isn't ideal and they should be planted a few weeks sooner though living in the south gives me a bit more leeway. Still I've been out in a sleeting snow before trying to get them in the ground before Christmas. Somehow I always seem to end up planting them in the freezing cold with a wind blowing, my nose running and the cold seeping through my clothes.
Isn't that just like life? The future beautiful harvest that will be a joy to you is often planted in a merciless cold season. Perhaps you are raising children and struggling with finances or relationships. It could be you are helping a friend when you are feeling depleted and as if you need help yourself. In the harshest seasons of life hopelessness lurks around the door and you lay awake nights wondering what to do.
I encourage you not to despair because it might just be that hanging on through whatever dark and cold season you are in is going to result in a beautiful harvest you haven't had the glimmer of hope to imagine yet. Persistence, courage, and faith are fruits that seem to be planted in the harshest winters.
Something happens in the cold. There are plants who need a season of cold to become their most beautiful when it's time to bloom. We all crave comfortable circumstances and easy lives, but there is little growth there. Growth is a forceful determined thing, a struggle. The relentlessness of growth is what leads to the beautiful blooms that brighten the world and cheer the heart. If you are struggling through a cold season do not give up. The breakthrough you're waiting for may need a quiet time in the dark for nourishment you don't understand yet. Often further down the road the purpose of the bleak periods is made clear and it always gives you the ability to encourage someone who is in their own dark night. How are we going to know how much someone needs warmth and shelter if we've never felt a cold wind?
Let's pray that our growth is relentless no matter the circumstances. Remember the blossom of your beautiful endurance will give hope to others.
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