Winter seems to never get the respect that spring does. I think it's because winter tends to wear out its' welcome. And yet, it seems to me that winter is supposed to be long, because it is supposed to be a bit of a respite, a time for us to slow down, and rest a bit, (though I often miss that memo, and tend to stay as busy in winter as the other seasons.) ;/ Whether we rest or not in winter, we all tend to welcome and eagerly anticipate spring don't we? After the darkness and cold of winter, the light, the warmth, the sensory overload that spring brings fills us with new hope and joy, and excitement. Except for those potholes! Which brings me to the point of this post.
What I have observed about potholes is this:
- We aren't always aware of them
- We can unexpectedly fall into them
- They are uncomfortable and quite messy
- They can become quite dangerous
Ringing any bells?? You probably see where I am going with this. Spiritually speaking, we may just have come off a dark time, and finally into the joy and refreshing of weathering our storm- our winter,
perhaps the opposite is true, we have just enjoyed the respite of winter, a bit of rest, smooth sailing, relishing and enjoying our blessings
unexpectedly we find we have fallen into an uncomfortable and quite messy conundrum, a bump, a pothole, in our spiritual path.
What I have observed about our spiritual potholes is this:
- They seem to come out of nowhere, when we least expect them
- We fall hard into the emotions that they pull out of us
- It is very uncomfortable and a bit messy when we are in the spiritual pothole, as we wrestle with ourselves, our emotions, and our battle of spirit versus flesh
- They can become quite a danger to our spiritual growth if not dealt with in the right manner
But there is GOOD, no GREAT news. Potholes are fixable! Year after year, the crews come out to repair them, a patch here, a filling there, or maybe even laying down a new road. Whatever the means, they are fixable!
And so are our inevitable spiritual potholes.
A patch here could be confessing and sharing our burdens with other Christians.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one anothers burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ
James 5: 16 Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another...
A filling there is going to God in His word and in prayer, pouring out our fears, insecurities, worries to our Lord, and asking Him to fill us with His perspective, His hope, His comfort, His Holy Spirit.
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble and you shall find rest for your souls.
Ephesians 5:18b ...but be filled with the Spirit
Laying down a new road might mean a real hard look in the mirror, and an adjustment to the priorities of our life, making some changes to the road we are on.
Psalms 139: 23-24 Search me O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting path.
Winters come and go, spring always always arrives, sometimes later than we would desire, but it always comes, with its beauty and wonder, hope and joy.
And with it's potholes! And I am beginning to see those potholes not with an "ugg, what a bother', type of mindset, but with a mindset to re-examine, to work on my heart, to 'fix' - with God's help - what might need a slight 'tweek' or attitude adjustment within me. I have realized that it is the potholes that make me grow, that make me really examine my path and demand that I give attention to and try to fix anything in my path, anything in my life, attitude, or heart, that is less that desirable in being His child, and striving to serve Him.
So come on spring! I am ready to fix some potholes!