It’s the middle of winter here. The “middle” meaning - it’s February and the friendly blanket of snow and holiday has turned to a frozen shroud. It may be the middle of winter for you too, but it may not be February when you read this.
Winter is the coldest season of the year and always seems to last the longest; but you know that. The cause is beyond any control of effort, mind or technology and the Earth’s axis orients itself away from the sun without asking our opinion. One person experiences winter and another summer, depending on which hemisphere they live and, just like you, the days are cold in the hometown of your heart, while others who live to the north or south of you walk in gaiety and summertime of soul while your feet refuse to warm.
You have lost your beloved, and no matter from which window you view the landscape, there is a ring of frost that frames the view.
I love to work in the yard, but doing so right now would prove to be fruitless.
During the more agreeable seasons, we pull weeds and feed the flowerbeds and plant new blooms. The grass grows quickly here from the moisture of the Great Lake and rainfall, and so, it needs tending and cutting quite often, but I’d have to shovel a foot of snow to even see it today.
Sometimes…(often) grief keeps us shoveling without reason or purpose and the effort is for nothing. Grief piles up, day after day and hides what was green and good, but…Believer, what use is it right now to shovel the weight of grief from a place where there is no value? Why not shovel the walkway or driveway; that way, you can go somewhere fruitful with your grief?
There is a time to plant. The time will show itself to you because God is faithful and His Word promises times of harvest for your toil. That means you can grieve now; even in winter, with purpose. You must grieve to receive its comfort even though your grief sometimes feels desperate and presses you into a corner, bleeding and seemingly without escape. It keeps you digging and looking and clawing to find what was there last Spring. But Believer, the grass and flowerbeds are sleeping to gather strength for their arrival when it is time. Let them sleep for now.
It is God’s comfort you need, not the frostbite of regret or blame, anger and unforgiveness. Do not sit outside in the frozen elements instead of the healing embrace and warm comfort and purpose of your Christ. Worship Him with your pain; this is the key and is the sacred path of grief. There is nowhere else to make an offering of such value and magnitude outside the throne of grace.
He is there, by the altar,
where you can safely lay your questions and striving.
Today, shovel the walkway, get to the next thing; worship Him on the way and when you get there. Be intentional and place what you have no control over to the side and into the Lord’s care. Make a list of specific ways to worship Him with your grief. Check them off. Make sure they are measurable so you’ll know when you’ve succeeded. Make sure they’re reasonable, and rest, because resting is worship too.