I have lived in the Ozarks for four and a half years and it has been the first time in my life I’ve lived through “real” seasons.
I put “real” in quotations because California and Hawaii, the two places I lived before moving here, do have seasons, they’re just far subtler than somewhere that sees daytime temperatures of around 30 in the winter and 90 in the summer.
It has been nothing short or miraculous to witness the trees growing to their full lush, green summer glory, then bright oranges and yellows, then finally naked grey as they sit, stripped of their foliage before bursting gently with a new season’s green leaf buds in the spring.
Every season takes my breath away.
While in the spring and summer it is easy to glory in God’s abundance and the life he has created, in the fall and winter, however, we are reminded of the chilling reality of the fate of this fallen world.
Watching the earth around us die seasonally each year, it’s impossible not to consider how vulnerable the cold weather and dramatically reduced fauna make a mortal body.
Sure, I am writing this on my iPhone in front of a roaring fire having just enjoyed a delicious cup of coffee and full skillet breakfast.
But these luxuries we enjoy even in remote rural areas today aren’t free from vulnerabilities. The industrial ecosystems that make it possible for me to enjoy all the perks and pleasantries of modern life could shut down instantly under any number of circumstances
Ultimately, it’s just my family and these woods, and we’re our modern conveniences ripped away from us, in the dead of a coming winter, how much more difficult would the most basic of survival needs be?
Whether a small natural disaster or widespread unrest and destabilization, we have no perfect guarantee that the prosperity we currently enjoy will last and how quickly we’d be subject to the unstoppable forces of nature that man has girded himself against since Adam and Eve first left the garden for the cold harshness of a newly fallen world.
In winter we see how powerless we are against the laws of sin and death.
In the winter we see that our only guarantee is in the fulfilled promise of a Savior.
Things in our world are unpredictable and dark right now. We don’t know how much longer life will continue as it has. We don’t know what lies in the days to come.
But as the father and mother of all mankind were told on that fateful day and as we are eternally guaranteed through the Word of the Lord, there is eternal hope, and no force of nature can stop that.
At the other end of every single winter throughout all of human history there has been a spring. One day, when that is no longer the case and the earth is destroyed to make way for a new one, the glory and new life on the other side will be more glorious than anything we could possibly imagine.
Take comfort in the coming winter. Take comfort in the promises of the Lord. Life on earth may be unsure, but the coming of Christ is surer than anything there has ever been.