He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, And what is to be has already been; And God requires an account of what is past. – Ecclesiastes 3:11-15
I looked out the window today. Winter has finally come. The green grass, present only yesterday, has been covered by a blanket of snow – one destined to stay, to last for a season. The color, the warmth and the light is all gone; encapsulated by the ice, the cold and the snow.
For people like myself who dislike winter, the first snowfall is a discouraging event. I don’t like being cold. I don’t like the dry air. I don’t like shoveling, snow-blowing, and especially driving in it. I admire its beauty, but I can do that best while sitting outside basking in a warm sun. So why don’t I move to someplace warmer? It’s probably because I dislike snow less than I dislike hurricanes, earthquakes, and oversized bugs.
But I digress…
The winter has been described and defined by countless authors over the years, so I’m not going to try to reinvent the wheel, nor am I going to repeat what you’ve already heard. What I will say is this – winter is here for its season, but thankfully, it is not the destination. We don’t end here. A few weeks from now my tune will change to something like this…
I looked out the window. Spring had finally come. The tree that dominates the yard was filled with buds that soon blossom into leaves. Snow melted away, transforming the ground from drab browns and grays back to green. Back to green, back to life, back to the hope of something promised long ago. Spring is a time of hope, but it must not be the end because its promise is only fulfilled in summer.
I looked out the window. Summer had finally come. The buds were gone, replaced by dark green leaves. The green serves as a background to the colors of the season. Flowers fill the yard with reds and whites and purples. The colors explode as they bask in the brightness of a full summer sun. Summer is a time of warmth, but it must not be the end because its promise is only fulfilled in autumn.
I looked out the window. Autumn had finally come. The heat of the day has been replaced by cool, crisp breeze. The green leaves have been consumed in a fire of oranges, yellows, and reds. Each day brings less light, fewer leaves on the tree, and more urgency to make use of the time. Autumn is a time of preparation, but it must not be the end because its promise is only fulfilled in winter.
The promises of today cannot be fulfilled if tomorrow never comes. When we push ahead, trying to bring tomorrow sooner than God’s schedule, we only cheapen its value because we eliminate the One who created it for us to have. None of us were here to see the first winter. It is likely that none of us will be here for the last. But as each winter comes, let us rely upon the God who created it, knows why we need it, provides us with everything necessary to endure it until the first signs of spring arrive.