Winter is a time of waiting. On this flower farm (above), all of the beauty lies beneath the soil for a season of rest. Without that season of cold temperatures, barren landscape, and unseen preparation, there would be no field of flowers in the spring… flowers with such beauty that any amount of waiting seems “worth it” in hindsight.
But I don’t experience today, the present, with hindsight. I can’t see the harvest when I’m waiting for spring. I get frustrated with barren fields, aching cold temps, and the feeling that the spring will never arrive. Don’t you find yourself wondering when winter will be over?
Impatience seems to be a keen part of my sinful nature. Yet when I saw the winter landscape from this flower farmer I follow (FloretFlowers.com), I immediately thought of my own winter rest. At first, I love this rest. I embrace the gently falling snow, the change of seasons, the warm nights by the fire, and making soup for dinner nearly every night. But somewhere during winter, I grow weary of the waiting, don’t you? The snow isn’t pretty anymore. The cold isn’t refreshing. I just want the waiting to be over. I want the new growth of spring to come.
But growth never comes without a season that looks barren and empty. That’s what rest and waiting look like. But that’s not all it is. It’s the replenishment and renewal that God uses to bring about transformation. Can you think back to a season of waiting in your own life? It’s incredible how much new growth comes from it.
I look at this barren field, and I think of what it will be in a few months… overflowing with the beauty of sweet peas and peonies, poppies and sunflowers, tulips and narcissus, each in their season. I don’t mind that it looks barren now because I know what’s coming, and I know it’s only coming this way.
That must be how God looks at our lives in seasons of barren landscapes, seasons when hope seems too far away like spring does in winter. But He knows what is to come, and He doesn’t fear that we have to wait and grow because He knows the harvest it brings forth… for our good and for His glory.
And suddenly, (even though I still long to see the crab apple trees bursting with new blossoms) I know that the winter is worth it. The wait is worth it. The barren desert, the cold landscape, the length of time that is yet unknown… it’s all worth it.
So join me in finding rest in the remaining winter. Wait with me for the new growth God is bringing. Savor how He grows you in these seasons, too. At least we are in this together.
One more note: Erin Benzakein of Floret talks about how winter is a time when she maps her gardens for next season (i.e. rest doesn’t mean nothing is happening). She also speaks of the three years she will have to wait to harvest peonies again. “Even though it feels like a lifetime away, we’ll be swimming in flowers before we know it.” A farmer knows the value of seasons and waiting. God, please let my heart see each day of waiting more as a wise farmer than a stubborn sheep.