Okay, you ready....
4 more days!!! 4 more days!!! 4 more days!!! And Naomi has promised me 80 degree weather and no snow!!!! Woohoo!!!! Had to get that out of my system lol.
The pictures here are from my backyard this morning. Still snow, still no leaves (but we do have leaf bud sightings, which works for me!), and it is presently a clear 18 degrees outside. Oddly enough, I see a lot of beauty in that cold wilderness, a light at the end of the tunnel I have dubbed the "neverending winter".
At first, I just took them because they seemed like pretty pictures to post, but then I started thinking about it. I had just finished listening to Pray-As-You-Go on my Zune, a podcast developed by the British Jesuits. The focus was on Numbers 21:5-
The people spoke against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food."
How often do we walk around, missing the forest for the trees? We don't see the tiny tree bud... we see a barren leafless, lifeless tree. We don't see the flowers starting to poke their heads out from under the snow...we see hard, dead ground. We don't see a stunning sunrise...we see a cold winter sky. We don't see that our journey from pain and anguish is almost over and we are entering the land promised to us by God...we are too busy looking down, shuffling our feet, complaining that it isn't over instantly. What journey has ever been easy? What journey that is worth having, that we learn from, has ever been easy? God never ever promised us an easy, happy-go-lucky, nothing will ever hurt life. He promised that He would be with us every step of the way, that we would never, ever be alone. That feels good, especially when you allow Him to be there.
Seeing the other side of the pain you are in is hard. You have to concentrate, squint, strain sometimes, but it is there. Just like pink and purple colors at the beginning of sunrise, you know that soon the sun will follow to brighten the day. If you look and let yourself see, you will see God's hand, guiding you through all of it.
I have not loved the journey I have been on since 2001. Quite frankly, it has really sucked. I haven't sat back and said, "Yippee, I get to hurt and cry and feeling like crap." I still have days of seeing only a barren cold wilderness that seems to go on for eternity. But just like the sun of a brand new day coming up behind the trees, I can see the end of the ick, I can see the promise, and I can see God in the details.