One of the things that I do to relieve stress and get some fresh air and exercise is run. As a runner, I live for this time of year. Running in the Lower Mainland can be very dreary during the months from November to March. I usually run in the morning and during that time of year it is dark, cold and wet. But then April comes, the days start getting longer and the mornings start getting warmer. By 5 o’clock, the sun is already beginning to light up the northeastern sky and it is gorgeous. If I run later in the morning, the birds are singing a chorus of praise to their Maker, flowers and trees share their beautiful blossoms and delightful fragrances with me, and the light of the sun warms my soul. Because of the weather patterns in our part of the world, I know that for the next few months, I will get to enjoy more good weather and my heart sings with joy.
And yet I am still thankful for all those months of slogging through the cold and the wet. God was still there with me as I ran. Running alone with no distractions and no cell phone is a time of worship for me. And the running that I did during the dreary months helps me to better enjoy the running that I will get to do now.
You may have other outdoor activities that you enjoy, but we have this in common: After months of dreariness, this is a time of year when we get to enjoy those activities. And even the dreary months can be a time of preparation for this beautiful season. Seeds can be planted, stationary bikes can be ridden, plans can be made. God is with us in the dreary times, so even then things are good.
There are parallels between the annual seasons and life. There are times when each of will encounter challenges, dreariness, and grief. But the Good News of Easter and Pentecost is that a better season is coming soon. Jesus rose from the dead to defeat death for us and He has turned the worst thing that could happen into something good for us. On the other side of death is a Spring that will be far more glorious than any Spring has ever been before. That never-ending season will be brimming with life and the light of the Son will warm our souls.
In the meantime, God is with us. We know that because Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit. While in Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals, “…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (John 7:37-39).
If you are in the middle of a dreary season in your life, hang on to Jesus. He will carry you through and things will be much, much better in the end. And in the meantime, know that the Holy Spirit is with you.