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hope for churches in stress


Despite record snowfalls and cold this year in the eastern U.S., I want to extol the value of winter—in particular, of a dormant season in the year and, from time to time, in life.

In creation, God set the earth to revolve around the sun and tilted its axis by 23.5 degrees. Together, these two phenomena cause seasonal change nearly everywhere in the world.

By God’s design, there are also seasons in life (Eccl. 3:1). God provides what we need for life and sustenance in every season (Jer. 5:24; Mt. 5:44-45). And knowing our need for purpose and meaning, God enables us to bear fruit "in season” (Ps. 1:3).

Then we come to a rigorous and seemingly unproductive season in life.

As farmers know, a dormant season is essential for good crops. Nutrients in the soil are replenished; the water table is restored by rain and snow; and cold temperatures kill insect pests. The dormant season is as purposeful as the planting, growing, and harvest seasons.

Yes, this season may be difficult. But wintertime allows for rest, renewal, reflection and, sometimes, for refinement and refocus. As in nature, a dormant season in life is necessary preparation for greater productivity (Jn. 15:2).

In every season, God’s care for us is good and complete. So in the wintertime, be encouraged: we are being made ready to proclaim God's goodness by our words and actions "in season and out of season" (2 Tim. 4:2).

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