I am slowly emerging from Winter Hibernation Season of Northern Minnesota – this should not be confused with Transient Winter Hibernation found in lower regions of the state. Our area is usually coated in white and placed in a deep freeze for five or six months to preserve the beauty of its land and build strength and character in its people.
We don’t really shut down for winter around here. Hibernation is just a fantasy of mine. I think it sounds inviting to stay in out of the cold, to go into a state of complete rest, to have no thoughts or worries for what rages on outside my den, and to live off my fat reserves rather than eating my way through winter. I want to wake up thoroughly refreshed and swimsuit-ready every Spring.
In reality, I wake up cold when my husband wins the bedding war. I take lukewarm showers when the water heater believes it is too cold out to bother. I strip my wardrobe bare to gather enough layers of clothing to put on that will bring my body up to room temperature and keep me protected while I venture out to the snowbank we keep our tot-trotter (a.k.a. minivan) in. I grit and grin while I shovel out and scrape my minivan ice block and let it idle and warm up, and then I shiver-drive from our igloo to my destination through the perpetual darkness that causes us to lack vitamins D and Joy. For this southern transplant, winter in Northern Minnesota can seem almost indecent. I have learned to function and be content in it, however, through knowing that eventually I will be sprung from it into Spring.
Ah! Spring. It isn’t my favorite season of the year, but Spring is the season I most look forward to. As the snow and ice melt, I pick up the trash we left hidden under it and celebrate God: Who He is and His life, His promises, His forgiveness, His healing, His redemption, His faithful love and compassion, His goodness and renewal. I thank Him for seeing me through another winter and granting me the will to be content through most of it. I look forward to the rain and the sun to help clean away the rest of winter’s debris. I search for the crocus and other early flowers that courageously rise up and shake off their wintry blankets to bloom first and lead the way for others to follow, and I relish their beauty and the joyful color of revival. In all of this I feel like I can hear God say:
“For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do. You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:10-12 HCSB)
Please…take a deep breath with me right now. Enjoy this “coming out party” with me, won’t you? My heart wants to sing out from Psalm 103:2-5: My soul, praise the LORD and do not forget all his benefits: He forgives all your sin; He heals your diseases. He redeems your life from the Pit; He crowns you with faithful love and compassion. He satisfies you with goodness; your youth is renewed like the eagle.
So great are You, LORD, so great is Your power and love. Through Your death comes freedom and renewal. Through Your resurrected life, comes life eternal. Thank You. Thank You, Spring of Life.