From At the Feet of Jesus, December 15th…
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7, NKJV
Perhaps you are in a wintry season right now. Perhaps you feel as though everything you’ve cared about has been taken away, and you’ve not found anything to take its place. Perhaps God has called you to lay aside a lifetime of striving so you can experience abiding. But to be honest, the stillness is getting on your nerves.
Winter always seems to take longer than we think it should.
Getting through such times, I’ve learned, is not for the faint of heart. It’s not easy to endure the loss of what we once thought was vital. To shiver in the dark, feeling bereft and confused. To wonder when—or if—this season of dying will ever end in true resurrection.
I understand how you feel. And so does Jesus—more than either of us knows. The One who hung forgotten and forsaken, cut down in the prime of His life and buried deep in the tomb, is so intimately acquainted with our suffering that He alone can remind us what is at stake.
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus told His disciples as they walked toward Jerusalem and His death, “unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).
As strange as it sounds, it is in the dark nights of our souls—in those deathlike, midnight places where nothing seems to be happening—that God often does His best work. Preparing our lives—so barren at the moment—for an even greater outpouring of life.
For winter always precedes spring. And in the law of harvest, death always precedes life. But if we’ll trust the Gardener, a harvest of fruit awaits—“much fruit,” as John 15:5 calls it. Fruit formed out of the life of Christ released in us by dying.
READ: Psalm 27:13-14
REFLECT: What should characterize our attitude and behavior during difficult times?
Note: This post is an excerpt from my devotional At the Feet of Jesus, which pull readings from Having a Mary Heart, Having a Mary Spirit, and Lazarus Awakening, as well as unpublished outtakes from all three books!