Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Winter (the season) (08/13/09)
TITLE: The Beauty of Winter
By L L
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The beauty of Winter. When I think of Winter, I think of Christmas and all of its seasonal wrappings. I think of the busyness of the season; the search for the perfect Christmas gifts, the attempt to be punctual at multiple Christmas events, the driving in heavy traffic to meet loved ones near and far, and of course, the celebrating of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I remember there was one specific Winter where the Christmas season was filled with just overwhelming busyness. There were Christmas songs playing everywhere, reminding me that I should be feeling joyful and energetic because it was the Christmas season after all. Yet, what to do. I was not feeling joyful and energetic. I was feeling exhausted, melancholy, and miserable. The Christmas season and all of its seasonal wrappings seemed to have drained all the joy and energy out of me.
In fact, since I had placed such immense pressure upon myself to generate feelings of joy or performance, I was making myself feel even more exhausted and miserable. With no drop of joy or strength within me, I felt like an utter failure. I was sure that I was disappointing God, and everyone around me. After all, this was the Christmas season, and I was a devout Christian. So, wasn’t I supposed to feel naturally joyful and energetic? Have you ever felt this way?
Yet, it was in this Winter moment where I heard the gentle voice of our Lord. “My child, rest in Me . . . My Grace is sufficient for you. My Strength is made absolutely perfect when you are weak. I delight in your weaknesses. When you are weak, I am more strong in you.” Amazing. His words sounded very similar to the Bible verse I had memorized; 2 Cor. 12:9.
I grabbed my Bible and looked up 2 Cor. 12:9 to gain some more insight and teaching from this verse and its following verse. I discovered that the 2 Cor. 12:9-10 stated, “ My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (NASB)
God’s power is perfected in weakness? I am to boast about my weaknesses? I am to be content with my weaknesses? I have never been naturally inclined to boast nor to be content about my weaknesses. Have you?
In a culture where weaknesses are so strongly frowned upon, these truths became really alive and life-changing for me. I began to really understand with my heart . . . not just with my mind . . . that unlike man . . . God did not frown upon my weaknesses. Instead, God embraced my weaknesses.
Indeed, my weaknesses allowed God to sustain me with His grace and to perfect His strength within me. And more so, I was to boast gladly of my weaknesses because the power of Christ that dwelled within me.
How counter-cultural! How contradictory from the values of this secular world! How joyful! How so like God!
I was humbled and grateful.
So, it was in this Winter moment when God softly wrapped around my mind, body, and soul . . . His gifts of grace and strength in my weaknesses. No need for me to worry about feeling joyless and exhausted. If anything, God showed me that He could shine more joyfully strong within me when I was weak . . . because He is so ever strong.
And yes . . . He can do the same for you, too!
The beauty of Winter.
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