Winter can be harsh. Winter is most definitely cold. Winter can feel never-ending. Well, that is at least what people tell me. You see, I am one of those strange people who enjoy the cold. I love snuggling up under a blanket. I love the snow. I love the cold wind that blows. Why would anyone love winter? I will tell you why. Winter is a time to nourish yourself in preparation for the spring.
Animals use winter to hibernate in preparation for the spring. The importance of rest is not lost on them. Squirrels use the fall to collect enough food to last them through the snowy months. They work hard to prepare themselves for the snow-covered ground. Trees and plants slow down their internal workings in order to conserve their energy in the winter. God knew that everything needed a time to reflect, rest, and prepare for hot months of summer that would be coming.
Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” God gives the earth rain and snow in order to help it flourish. He has sent his word to us in order that we can also flourish.
Use winter as a time of reflection and a time for growth. Since sitting outside basking in the sun’s rays is not an option, instead sit in the beauty of God’s word. If you want a better prayer life, why not focus this winter on prayer. If you want to deepen your faith, begin a Bible study on faith. Learn a new skill, take an online course, winter can be a beautiful time of growth and development if you allow it to work.
Winter can be harsh and if you aren’t prepared, it will be miserable. We make sure our cars are ready for the cold weather. We insulate our homes. We know to put on a coat and gloves when we go out into the frigid temperatures. I encourage you to spend an equal amount of time “winterizing” your spiritual self. Proverbs 6:6-8 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” This passage in Proverbs encourages us to be proactive in all aspects of life.
So, grab those winter coats, make some hot chocolate, and pull out your Bibles. Use these cold months to prepare yourself for the coming spring so that you can bloom and grow just like the world waking up from winter.
This week’s recipe is a hearty soup. It is sure to stick to your ribs and keep your family warm and cozy this winter. This recipe features potatoes in two different ways. They will be listed twice in the ingredient list so you can keep them separate. We love it with ground beef, but ground turkey or chicken would also be delicious!
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, hold and pleasing to God—This is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2