In the book, Christian Maturity by Madam Guyon, she compares the Christian life to the life of a tree. She says, “ In the winter when a tree loses its leaves it is no longer beautiful in its surface appearance…It’s just that the leaves are no longer there to hide what is real. The same is true of believers. We can each look so beautiful until the obvious signs of life disappears.”
What a great analogy. When the winters of our life happen, it may seem as if our life has all but disappeared. Like the tree, when our personal winters occur God is allowing our leaves to fall to reveal all the ugliness and inconsistencies that we have been hiding. It becomes a moment of personal reflection to show us who we really are. No, we don’t lose our identity in Christ but in those moments we are like a tree in the winter time without its leaves it is totally exposed. Without the outward adorning of its leaves, it looks lifeless and is totally exposed to the elements.
Regarding the tree, even though it seems like the tree has lost its life, there is something going on deep inside. Something that will allow it to be fully leafed come spring. There is something happening that we can’t see deep inside the tree and in its roots that will allow it to extend to new heights and more fully express its grandeur in the spring and summer.
In a similar manner during our spiritual winters, God is doing something deep inside of us that could only be accomplished during our winter time. By revealing who we really are we come to the point of brokenness, then abandonment and surrender. We are given the opportunity to come clean with the Lord and move toward a new level of trust.
If it wasn’t for those spiritual winters we would never know the joy of fully trusting God through the storms of life. We would be ignorant of His ability to carry us through when things seem out of control.
It is good to remember that during every season of our life, including our spiritual winters, God is doing something deep within us that will allow us to be fully adorned with His glory. He wants to expose our fleshly ways, and all those things we do just to to get acceptance from others. Sometimes we may experience rejection and deep hurt from those whom we have loved and helped the most. Maybe we have been getting our acceptance from what we do rather than who we are in Christ. God allows these winter moments to redirect us toward the indwelling Christ for our peace and acceptance.
God is never asleep at the wheel during times of crisis. But He is fully aware of our circumstances and plight. He is merely waiting for us to acknowledge that we are fully dependent upon Him. He wants free rein in our life so that we can be useful and fruitful vessels.
During your times of personal winter, will you allow God to have free rein in your life? Will you trust Him to prepare you for your season of full blooming?
Prayer: Lord I give you permission to strip everything from my life that causes me to trust other things or people more than we trust you. During the winter seasons of my life I submit to the deeper work you will do in my heart to prepare me for the next season.