Winter Care

2012_02_24_15_01Winter is my least favorite season. The days can get long and dreary. The cold air can sting the skin and those winter winds have a bite to it. I try to hide inside in my nice temperature controlled environment.

Apparently my skin doesn’t like the cold either. It gets so dry it cracks and bleeds if I don’t catch it quickly. Other times it’s annoyingly itchy. My son has a kind of eczema that appears in the winter. It makes his hands and feet leathery if he doesn’t take special care of them. Knowing this I was willing to try a bottle of body wash I saw at the grocery store that said “Winter Care”. We certainly can use a little extra TLC during the winter months.

Recently I was reflecting on the ups and downs of last year. I’m so thankful for the fun times and memories that have been made. On the other hand, there have been some relational issues that have left me scratching my head, unsure of how to mentally process it all. Situations that have made me feel as if I’m in winter with the cold harsh winds blowing against me, stinging my skin and making me start to feel numb. I became apprehensive about wanting to extend the hand of friendship to anyone.

The Lord has been so gentle with me as He has lead me through the pain, anger and tears. He has brought healing through different avenues. It’s been a season of pruning, molding and reshaping. All the while remembering to stay open to the Lord and not shut down to Him. He is the One who can, and is, healing my heart. He is the only One who can fully restore me. I’ve been humbled by my brokenness and even that I bring to the Lord.

One day my eyes caught a glimpse of those words on my bottle of body wash. Winter Care. Yes, that’s exactly what the Lord has been doing for me. Caring for me in my winter. That’s what He’s does for each one of us.

In our winter season, when life has treated us cold, the Lord adds His special care to keep our hearts from getting callused and leathery. He adds insulation of fat to animals, takes the weighty burden of leaves off the trees and will care for us as well. He hasn’t forgotten us in winter…though it may feel that way. Often the Lord doesn’t warm up the winter season for us by taking away our problems but He instead promises to walk with us through our heartaches. He steps into the cold with us. Walks with us. Blankets us with the warmth of His love and comfort. We bring Him glory as we go through it and our roots and relationship with Him deepen.

It’s easy to want to hide after cold winters have stung your heart. To stay control-tony-evanswhere it’s warm and where you have control of your surroundings. There is little we have control of though. If we try to stay in that bubble we will become isolated and ineffective. We must venture out to do what God has called us to. We need to trust God with our broken hearts and not let the coldness of life stop us from living or from loving others. Be warmed by the fires of God’s grace. Let His love lift you up and out of this cold. Take heart and know winter won’t last forever. Spring will come. Enjoy the peace and rest the Lord gives in this season.