How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
—Psalm 13:1-2 NIV
“I’ve never really been happy,” she said. I looked at my friend in shock. She’s normally a very happy person full of love and light. Then, after some thought I realized where this was coming from and replied, “That’s your depression talking, dear one. You have been happy and you will be again.”
It’s astonishing and sad the way depression robs you of today’s joys … and robs you of yesterday’s joys. The past is somehow colored by the dismal gray of your present state of mind. Depression also steals your hope of future joy. It’s insidious like that. When we’re stuck in that dark place, it surely seems like it will never end. Even the psalmist cries out, “Will you forget me forever?”
The calendar says spring has officially arrived, but here in New Hampshire it’s still cold and raw and desolate. I’ve been walking a lot this week, still in my winter coat and earmuffs. The trees look dead … lifeless ... still ... cold. I see a barrenness about them that would be sad … if I didn’t know with certainty that they are only dormant. Life still moves in those trees waiting for the warmth of spring to awaken the roots to drink deeply and quicken the sap to flow. The trees will bring forth fresh, bright, vibrant leaves and grow toward heaven once again. They always do. Of that I am certain.
Spring follows winter as surely as day follows night. God has established those patterns. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” Genesis 8:22 (NIV). Every human on this planet can attest to that truth. It’s set. Based on the earth’s rotation and distance from the sun, nothing can change that. We can count on spring after winter.
In the same way, we need to remember during times of “emotional winter” that spring always comes. We may be barren at the moment, feeling lifeless and desolate, but this will not last. Oh, how I wish we could assure despairing people of this when they contemplate suicide, thinking their present agony is their future lot. It’s not!
God gave us seasons for many reasons, but one of them is to show us that winter does not last. We may be dormant and leafless for a long season. And, at times, perhaps we need to be. Trees that are meant to be dormant do not fare well if forced into a climate without cold conditions. Maybe at times we just need to stand still and “be.” Maybe it’s okay to not always be the full-leaved, rapidly-growing, gorgeous tree of spring. Maybe standing steady, roots sunk deep into God’s promises right in the midst of harsh times will produce the sweetest fruit in the end. If you happen to be in a time of winter, dear one, remember that. Your time of waiting and enduring and trusting God even when you see no sign of spring will not be in vain. And one day, perhaps when you least expect it, spring will bud in your soul again. Spring always follows winter. You can count on it.
Oh, Lord, You give abundant object lessons in nature. Thank You for this one. You do not leave us barren and lost. You, the Author of Life, can bring spring once again into the most broken of hearts. Father, if someone reading this is in the middle of a long, bleak winter, would You bring thaw to their soul? Would You show them the first buds of spring? Comfort them, Lord, and give them hope to hold on for springtime. I ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. —Psalm 126:6 NIV
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)
If you’ve been blessed, keep the blessing going!
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