Sunday, December 18, 2011
One Winter, it snowed so hard that…
In spite of the fact that I’ve lived in Upper Michigan, all of my life, I don’t have many good Winter stories. Okay, okay—there was the time I got the Ford Escort stuck on a drift of snow with all four tires off the ground; and there was the time the bank sign across from the high school read 60-degrees-below and they had to send us all home from school (except they couldn’t, because the busses wouldn’t start); and there was the first Winter I spent in Hancock, when the ceiling caved in; and the Winter a few years ago that your Grandma and I drove through the McDonald’s drive-through in a storm (the sides of the truck were pressed against the walls of the snowdrifts—we were jammed in like sardines!); and there was something about a washing machine with a full load of clothes (frozen) and your Uncle Donuts. If you really want a good one, you should ask your Grandma Heidi about the Winter her brother John was born (that makes him my uncle, your great-uncle). Now that is a “one Winter, it snowed so hard that” type of story.
But as fun as it is to tell those stories, my heart is more enthralled by Winter than entertained by Her. I always love to look at the trees in Winter. With the heavy snowfall and the forceful winds, I’m amazed that trees have the strength to just stand. That’s all—they just stand. It reminds me of what Paul wrote about the armor of God. He had just finished telling us that our struggle was not just in this world, in the day-to-day, but in the spiritual world as well, and he writes:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
And after you have done everything, to stand. As a family, as individuals, we have seen many changes this year. We have faced struggles and sorrows that we could never have anticipated. Are there any magic words that will help ease our sadness? Are there any special prayers that will move God to take away our trials and make life easy? I doubt it. But He does give us the example of the trees. I hope that every time you see a tree, its branches weighed down with white, you will remember to stand—no matter what life brings your way, no matter how you feel, no matter how you want to give up. Just stand. Somehow, sometime, in some way, Spring will find you.
All my love,