I’m usually “done” with winter by January 1, and this year is no exception. I miss the sun’s warmth on my bare arms, the scent of earth and vegetation, the freedom to walk out the door without first layering against the cold.
But it snowed yesterday, and even through a New England childhood I can’t recall beauty like this. Flakes fell in cottony puffs, thick and lazy. They blanketed the ground and coated every branch like icing on a cake.
The whole world was white and fresh and lovely.
Winter can be a cold, lonely season. We get through it by looking ahead, trusting that spring will come again, bringing new life. We hold onto the hope that the sun will come out tomorrow. But this morning, winter had a different look. The storm had passed, leaving blue sky above white wonderland. Again, the beauty astounded me.
After dropping the kids off at school, I tossed aside my to-do list in favor of a camera. Documenting the snow became an act of worship as I celebrated God’s artistry and goodness. The beauty felt like a personal gift, His kindness during a winter that has penetrated beyond skin deep. He knew I needed a reminder that He makes all things new not after the dead season, but through it.
We can bundle ourselves against the cold, insulate against the weight and length of winter, or we can look around with new eyes and ask, “What is the purpose of this season?” Our hope isn’t only in what God will do, but in what He’s doing right now. In the coldest moments, His grace covers over our bare, broken pieces and transforms us into pure, fresh new creations.
We don’t have to live for the end of winter. We can find life and hope right here in the midst of it, because hope is not only a future promise, but a present posture.
Today, hope looks like a forest of snow-frosted trees, asleep for a season, but very much alive.