The End of Winter is Hard

Late winter malaise is tough.  Of course we know that any minute spring is going to come soon.  We know we are about to store our winter jackets and enjoy warm weather.  But it is easy for us to turn our anticipation into frustration in these long in- between times.  

Living a life of faith is the same. Sometimes faith moves quicker – when growth is evident, and we are able to see signs and works of God’s power in our lives.  But other times our faith seems to slow to a crawl through dry seasons of suffering or frustration.  We move slow, dry out, and we wonder if we are still moving in the right direction.

Both of those spiritual seasons are found in the Scriptures. But the temptation when life and faith begins to slow down is to stop.  And coming to a stop is maybe the worst thing we can do in our faith.  Because once we stop we lose all momentum even momentum we didn’t realize we had.  Getting started again become so difficult. And we end up working in forces of darkness that we didn’t even know were trying to bring us away from God’s trajectory.

Paul says the life of faith is like a long run that requires training and discipline.  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Cor 9:24-25

The faith practices that move you forward are just as important – or more – in dry seasons as they are in deep moments of faith.  Worship matters as much whether you are in a season of joy and celebration or one of personal pain.  Generosity matters whether you just got a pay raise, or if you are worried your check will bounce.  Faith sharing can still change someone’s eternity whether you are in the mood to offer an invitation or not.  Your presence and connection is a gift you give to others whether you realize that extending a smile and welcome and conversation is Kingdom building work.

So whether you feel like your faith is full of joy like the warmth of a spring day that showed up early, or tired and cold like a winter that won’t end… regardless, God is God, and God deserves better.  

1. Have you ever run a long race?  What did you do when you got tired?
2. How is your faith right now?  Are you feeling slow and tired? Or are you in a season of great progress?
3. What have you let slip that God deserves to have you invest in?  Worship?  Generosity?  Invitation?  Community?

God, thank you for blessing me with such care and guidance.  Lead me forward in Your ways.  Help me to choose Your path and teach me what is next … for You… today in ways small and large.  Forgive me for my neglect and fatigue.  I love you. 

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