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Has God allowed you to see some dark days that feel ever so hopeless and bleak? Do you see other’s lives blooming with happiness and success while your life feels stuck in the middle of a deep dark winter? With each season we can see God’s hand at work, even in the middle of winter! Though all appears to be dead on the surface, deep below all of nature is still alive and preparing to burst forth and bloom brilliantly in spring.

Throughout the year it is enjoyable to see the changes each season brings. While most people love fall, summer and spring you rarely hear winter being someone’s favorite season (although I have to admit, winter is one of my favorites). Most of us probably understand the purpose of each season, but maybe you’re wondering what purpose does winter actually provide? What good can come from a season where everything is dead, brittle and cold?

Did you know that planting perennials, shrubs and trees in autumn provides them with the necessary time to grow healthy deep roots? If they were planted in spring, they wouldn’t have the necessary foundation to withstand the summer heat with their young roots. Winter, even though it appears like all is dead, is in fact preparing and allowing roots to grow deeper through the dormant months so they will be ready to burst through with life in spring.

In fact, fruit trees and bushes actually need what’s called a “chilling period” so they have time to rest and prepare for spring. They need this period of cold, chilly days to help regulate their growth. Without the cold temperatures of winter, they won’t be able to produce as much fruit in spring.

Amidst the season of winter in your own life, it may feel as though God is dormant. Like He is inactive and “fallen asleep” to your cries for help. Your life feels bleak, barren and there’s no sign of growth. Maybe you’ve been searching for any sign of potential hope, but it remains buried beneath the cold weighty snow of discouragement.

God knows when things need to be “cut away” in our life so new amazing things can begin. Just as trees and plants need to be pruned to thrive more effectively, God knows that we need to endure through seasons of pruning in our own lives too. What might God be trying to “cut away” in your own life, so that it doesn’t cause decay to eat away at your spiritual life?

While it is difficult to find anything blooming in winter, I want to be determined to grow even when circumstances look ever so lifeless. It takes great courage to look at our bleak situations and choose to bloom even when there’s no sign of life or restoration in sight. We could choose to wait until spring to flourish, but it takes great faith to rest in God’s promises and know that what He’s doing within us will bring new life to our “desolate” circumstances. We don’t have to bloom only when our conditions are perfect, but we can still flourish in winter because we are finding our source of hope and life in the Creator who is cultivating our life for His divine purpose.

John 13:7

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

We can allow our roots to grow deep within the frosted soil of darkness, allowing us to deepen our faith in Him, knowing that when spring arrives it will allow us to bloom even more brilliantly. No matter how hopeless your surroundings appear, you can rest assured that God is using this dormant season in your life to strengthen your roots and prepare you for the amazing creation you will become! We may not see any sign of growth bursting through just yet, but hold on, the time is coming. God is busy at work beneath the surface!

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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.

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