Spiritual Rhythm: Being With Jesus Every Season Of Your Soul
By Mark Buchanan
“Do not forget in night, what God has shown you in the day.”
I cried through winter. I don’t mean I sobbed like a baby, but I found myself reading Buchanan’s chapters on winter with tears in my eyes and a catch in my throat. And I loved every minute of it. There is something beautiful about taking some time, putting a book down on your lap, and just letting God show you what is going on deep in your soul. If you skimmed through the introduction and first two chapters, I plead with you to go back and take the time. Why did I feel so emotional? Not because I am in winter right now, but I have been there. As a pastor I have also walked through countless winters with many people. That is how I know the insight Buchanan has is largely correct.
In the days, weeks and even months following my mother’s sudden heart attack, my soul was in the deepest of winters. I longed to feel alive again with the Lord but I felt dead. I wanted it to end but it seemed endless. I wanted to enjoy my family and friends but I felt completely alone. I remember leaning my head against the shower wall and sobbing, whispering out over and over, “Help me Lord. Help me!” It was in those days that I needed to cling to the promises of scripture. I had to believe God was there and loved me. I didn’t feel it, but I had to cling to the truth of the promise.
I was in a season of winter in the months leading up to my sabbatical over a year ago. It was not the same kind of winter as when my mom died. At least I knew the reason for that winter. This time I just felt a great and unexplained weariness. Not tiredness. That is when we are tired, but feel accomplished because the energy we exerted counted for something. Weariness is when we feel, as Solomon once wrote, “all is meaningless.” I just didn’t feel like being a pastor anymore. I didn’t want to hear any more problems and I didn’t really care whether things succeeded or not. It was hard. It was raw. And I didn’t know if I was going to get out of it. But I did.
That is what was beautiful about these chapters. They are raw. They are honest. They are a bit dark. But there is hope. Spring comes after winter. The snow melts and the frozen tundra succumbs to life. The birds begin to sing, flowers sprout, the air warms and life begins again. For the Christian, God breaks us down in winter to build us back up. He kills idols in our lives and shows the joys of knowing Him all over again.
When you are in winter, remember to cling to God’s promises even if you don’t feel them. They are there. And don’t forget to remember what God has taught you in the good times. He loves you. He will bring you through. Yes you will have limps and scars, but you will depend on Him all the more.
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