Winter - Rachel Weston

13th July 2020

 "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;     wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons;     he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise     and knowledge to the discerning."

 Daniel 2:20-21 (NIV)

School holidays are upon us and we have been looking forward to these, after our last holidays we were all in lockdown.  However, when contemplating what we will do these holidays, the planning is made more difficult by the weather.  Where we would have loved to have picnics in the park with friends, the weather might not make that possible.  Camping trips (while some of you are braver than me) are steered away from due to the freezing night temperatures. There can almost be a wishing away of this season, a longing for spring days and summer fun.  Nevertheless, when we embrace the season we are in, we find there is so much more to enjoy about this time.  Time around campfires with marshmallows, time cuddled by the warm heater watching movies, time to have slow mornings and yummy food that warms your heart and soul. "Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home." ― Edith Sitwell. If you asked me what my favourite season was, winter would not be the answer, but when I stop to realise the blessings that come with winter, I do see much joy in these days.  However, each of us handle winter differently.  Look at the animals … some of them migrate – they miss it all together!  Some animals hibernate – again missing it all together!  Alternatively, some of them change or adapt to cope with the change in season.  The arctic fox’s fur changes to a brilliant white to match the season he is in.  Lots of the animals that we have around us in our climate put on an extra layer of fur to keep them warm, knowing this season won’t last forever, but not hiding away from it, just changing to accommodate it. Praise be to God – He changes times and season – He deposes kings and raises others up – He is the one who sets the changes in motion.  Seeing winter for what it is, celebrating what we do have and what we can enjoy, helps us to be ready for the change that God is bringing. We all know that the season we are currently in during this global pandemic is bringing change.  We can resist it – migrate to avoid it (though it is global, so not really anywhere to go!). We can hibernate and hope it passes soon, or we can allow God to change us through it.  “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley. The great thing about the above scripture passage is that last phrase - “He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”  Thank you Jesus that you have given us wisdom and knowledge to walk through this season, knowing you are bringing spring, but not despising what you are doing now.  Allow him to change you to manage this season, not wishing you could migrate or hibernate to avoid it. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 ESV)

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