But as I turned off the highway and made my way toward the town, and as I checked into my hotel and then walked for a few minutes up the main street to find a coffee, something else began to occur to me.
I have been reading This Too Shall Last, a book about how to find God’s grace and the presence of Jesus in suffering that persists in preparation for a Sunday Night Conversation, I’ll be leading with my church, about Medical Assistance in Dying. I’m sure the author’s words were why I started seeing the lifeless trees and near-empty main street as something else. I saw what they were going to be. In a few months, this place will look completely different. The trees and gardens aren’t dead; they are dormant, waiting for the season to change.
February isn’t just a month to endure on the way to May. In some ways, it might be. But in other ways, its quietness and even darkness give space for a deep work.
I trust you’re following this metaphor with me. There is no promise in Scripture that any struggle, suffering or dark night of the soul will be over next week, month, year or even in this lifetime. But that doesn’t mean that there is not beautiful work being done in your life.
If your life feels like you’ve been stuck in February for too long, breathe deeply. He’s with you. I don’t know why life twists and turns like it does, why it seems to stall out or rush by too fast, but I know for certain that God is present in each breath.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I hope that encourages you in some small way today. I’m looking forward to spring, but I appreciated my time in Niagara-on-the-Lake as well. I’m praying that is true of my heart and yours as well.