Today we are experiencing winter. There is snow on the ground, a chill in the air and a log on the fire. Winter is beautiful if you have the luxury of gazing at it from the warm side of a window, with a hot cup of coffee and a good book as companions. When I was a child I prayed for snow days. As an adult they are no longer on my prayer list at all. Years ago, I was responsible to play in the snow, now I have to move around on the slickened streets to get to my next appointment.
Winter seems to be a time when things slow down. There are no picnics out doors, no trips to the pool, no little league games to watch. Keeping warm becomes the pass time. There was a time when I lived farther north than I do presently. While living there I noted winter came early and stayed late. I have to admit, I always liked the first snow. White and cold and beautiful, it was like living in a magical place. Nine weeks later, I had more than enough, cold, slipping and sliding and did I mention cold? One day I was waxing eloquent about my adverse reaction to winter, when a person said to me “if you are going to live here you have to embrace winter.” Embrace it? You have got to be kidding. I will never embrace winter.
I got to thinking we really do have a choice in life. Embrace or endure. Many Christians seem to think that God works in many ways, but not in the circumstances and the situations where I find myself living. We have no problem believing God works through the Bible, prayer, the Holy Spirit, Church services, pastoral care and counseling. But in the difficult places of life, it is harder to see God at work. I see him work through devotional literature, but not through flat tires. I see him at work through hymns and worship songs, but not when a sick child is crying in the night. How have we limited our understanding that God is always working His will in our lives? In the big events and small events and all the in-between places as well. God even works in winter! I don’t have to like the place where I am presently, to seek God’s wisdom. The school of the Holy Spirit is always in session.
Let us make up our minds to embrace the day, the week, the month, and the year. Let us ask the Lord to teach us His ways, in every situation and circumstance. If I don’t embrace today, then I will endure today. Enduring something is the most strength-sapping attitude we can choose. To endure is to choose to die inside inch by inch. Embrace this great adventure of life. Well, you may be thinking my life is anything but an adventure. That is because you have chosen to view it that way. Embrace life, if you are a Christian, this is the way of the Lord. See every day as a gift, a precious gift from the Lord.
I decided back then to embrace winter. That year I went farther north, and went tubing, sledding and even went on a dog sled ride. Winter remained as cold, but I had fun embracing it, and one side benefit, it did seem pass more quickly,