Day 356: Trees in Winter (December 22)

Today, while Chris and I were driving to lunch, I noticed a field of barren trees.  Their leaves had all fallen and you could see the beautiful bends and curves of every branch in their barren glory.  In a breath-taking moment I saw such beauty.  I immediately thought of the winter seasons of life, and I felt God move in my heart.

You see what people are really made of during the winter season.

The times when things are barren, and life is hard, but strength is exposed.  I love that.  I love that when I have walked through winter, I have discovered reserves of strength that I didn’t even know I had.  It’s also during those winter seasons that we discover what our relationships are made of.

It’s a stripping down of all pretension and an exposing of the internal.

I love that.

I love discovering the truth about people.  The truth about myself.  The truth about those I love.  I long for honesty and truth in all my relationships.

But have you ever seen someone walking through winter, while acting as if it is summer?

Why pretend to be what you are not?  If times are hard, then they are hard.  It is much easier to walk it out when you are honest.  Honesty about disappointment and discouragement are not signs of weakness, those are signs of strength.  Those are signs that you know who you are and are comfortable with yourself.

Yes, we should praise the Lord during those times, that’s not the “dishonesty” I’m talking about.  I am referring to the “I’m fine” people, or those who try to hide the winter season they are in.  That’s revealing, a not so great quality, pride.

Pride tells us to pretend.  Pride cautions us to not expose our weakness or strain.  Pride tells us to keep a brave face.

God has only ever asked for our honesty.  He has made room for our weakness, even to the point of making Himself strong within that place.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10