Winter often brings with it days of gloomy skies. This weather can provide fertile ground for depressive thoughts. We feel as if all that is alive and lush is dead, and our souls tend to respond in kind.
It has been a particularly warm January in Kentucky. I decided to use this window of opportunity to trim a bush. God reminded me that what is precious is often hidden. Of course, there was green in the bark where I made my slices. Life! But, what do we do when dreariness prolongs and our spirits begin sinking?
Settle Yourself: Release
Close your eyes. Breathe in deeply. Imagine a scene of a sunny spring day as you inhale and exhale. Feel the warm sun on your face, notice the blooming flowers and the buds on the trees. Allow yourself to stay in this place as long as you choose.
Listen: Rest in the Word
Read this psalm through slowly a few times. If you can, read it out loud at least once.
Psalm 19:1 6
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Read this quote from Carl Frederick Buechner in his book, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC
Using the same old earth, air, fire, and water, every twenty-four hours God creates something new out of them. If you think you are seeing the same show all over again seven days a week, you are crazy. Every morning you wake up to something that in all eternity never was before and never will be again. And the you that wakes up was never the same before and will never be the same either.
Lord, winter days can bring many of us down. We long for warmth and light. Remind us of the purpose of this season. Renew us as you renew the earth, and prepare it and us for new growth. Remind us that you are at work every moment in this process, even though we may not see it. Help us to rejoice in your magnificent plans for restoration. Amen.
Kathy Milans is the lead member of Soul Care Collective’s Steering Committee.