Back in February I took a trip to the beach. As a child I visited this place quite often, but it had been years since I’d last looked out across these waters. Something was different about this trip though. Instead of warm gusts of wind, I was meant with frigid temperatures and frozen piers. The sight of the beach in the middle of winter was breathtaking. Icicles hung off of reeds of grass, shimmering in the winter light. Around me ice cracked as the sunshine caused it to melt, what a beautiful sight! The crackling ice reminded me of the changing seasons and how God works through the seasons of my own life.
My first close experiences with death happened in college. In the space of a few months I lost two of my grandparents. My family has never quite been the same since. Grief caused pain and rifts that have yet to be completely healed. There was so much pain and doubt during this dark time. I was confused and hurt by everything that was happening. I wondered if my family would ever be happy again. But God was working even then. He was calling me to trust in him that
“What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how you make me new
With every season’s change” (Nichole Nordemon, “Every Season”)
Even during this season of death, God had a purpose. It’s been six years since then, and I can’t honestly tell you what that purpose was. But I do know that he’s slowly thawing the hearts of my family members. Some off us have already experienced the joy of spring, while others are still dwelling in a time of darkness.
Understanding why God would allow such things to occur is beyond us. It pains me to see all of this suffering.
This beautiful afternoon on the winter beach reminded me of King David’s words in Psalm 30:5, “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Morning always follows night. Spring always follows Winter. Sometimes these winters of life feel like they last for years. Take heart, Spring will come.