Necessary Winter.

The morning dew is frozen on the still-green grass.  Winter has been delightfully late in the deep south this year.  Many of us have enjoyed the warm temperatures and even hoped that maybe, just maybe, cold weather will skip us altogether.

I drove my teenagers to school this morning, my heart heavy over hard news.  This news triggered memories of a precious friend who went home to Jesus almost five years ago.  I examined my life.  How would I be remembered if I died today?  In the difficult season of life this past year I have become so self-focused.  Often I find myself muttering, “I didn’t sign up for this.”

“This is too hard.”

“I have no idea what I am doing here.  I am failing.”

Tears stung my eyes as I turned into my neighborhood.  The woods are beautiful today, backlit by the sun and the grass was covered in a million frost-diamonds that glistened and beckoned me to stop and get out my camera.

An inner voice spoke:  “Try, just try to capture this.  There is a lesson here.”

Last week there was a mosquito in my pantry.  I laughingly joked to my husband that we need a good, hard freeze to get rid of the critters.  Today, as I knelt down close to the frozen green grass I saw what I needed to see today.

The freezing days are necessary for us to truly enjoy the warmth of Spring.  If the “critters” are not dealt with…frozen literally to death…they will torment us with a vengeance and make it difficult to enjoy the beauty of green grass and dogwood trees.  We will be so busy batting away insects that we might be tempted to hide indoors.

So on this frozen morning, as I remember the joy on my friends’ face as she neared her last day, as I hear her voice saying, “God is so close, Jeanine.  I can feel His presence.  It is like nothing I have ever felt before,” I also remember that her joy, the light in her eyes, was the result of suffering.

As I pray for those who suffer today and as I look hard at my life and seek to remove the plank(s) from my eye I will choose to be thankful for the frozen grass, for the hard death of winter.

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.  Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.  Revelation 3:18-19

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