It's Winter... by Mandy Baker Johnson
The letter wasn't a shock. I'd spent most of the previous ten months off work ill and was showing no signs of being able to resume my job in the foreseeable future. They had discussed it with me. Their tone was kind and I knew they would continue praying for my healing.
But.... my eyes were suspiciously leaky and it seemed I'd eaten a lead weight for breakfast.
As I picked up my laundry basket, I sensed a still, small voice saying to me: 'Come upstairs, I've got something to show you.'
I headed up the stairs.
'Come into the study and look out of the window.'
Still holding the laundry basket, I glanced out of the window. There wasn't anything remotely thrilling to see, just a bare lilac tree in the corner of the garden.
'Do you see that lilac tree?'
'Your life is like that lilac tree. Right now, it looks dead, as if nothing will ever happen to it again. But come spring, it will bud and blossom, and the birds will come and nest in its branches. It looks dead because it's winter. This is your winter, but spring will come.'
My leaky eyes overflowed. I wasn't forgotten or cast away. I may have lost my health, my independence, my job and my ministry, but God still had good plans for me.
For me, that was a long winter in every sense.
Yet God had his eye on me. He miraculously healed me of chronic fatigue one Thursday afternoon, just me and Him in my living room. Spring had come.
Two years ago, Jesus met with me powerfully in a church meeting and whispered: 'It's summer.'
He has planned such adventures for me!
When I was ill, I was tempted to think it was all over, that I was washed up and useless. But that's not true. God gently laid me aside for a season, and that's very different to being cast aside.
Maybe you are going through a period of winter in your life right now. Be encouraged, the One who created the seasons will ensure that spring and then summer come around in due time. He is faithful, and He has not forgotten you.
Mandy Baker Johnson is a self-employed medical secretary and freelance writer. She enjoys blogging and has recently co-authored a book Drawn from Words. She volunteers with a Christian charity working with women in the sex industry.