“Ye see, dearly beloved, how great protection there is for them that are chastened by the Master: for being a kind father He chasteneth us to the end that we may obtain mercy through His holy chastisement” (1 Clement 56:16).
In his book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis wrote the lament, “It’s always winter, but never Christmas.” That feeling of “always winter and never Christmas” is an interesting emotion in which we all struggle.
Winter can be a difficult time. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real problem which affects many. We can be depressed emotionally and spiritually and begin to feel that it is always winter.
Winter is also a special time because it is the setting of many warm memories and aspirations. The cold winter season is pregnant with aspirations for family, presents, warmth, and hope. But Lewis described a sad situation in which its always winter, but never Christmas.
I hope that we can begin to appreciate the long dreariness of winter. If not for the night, we could never marvel at the stars. God has used distress to highlight his mercy and his glory. “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed” (Gal. 3:23). In Romans 11:32 Paul wrote, “for God has imprisoned all for disobedience, so that he might be merciful to all.”
I hope that we can begin to look beyond dreariness. We look beyond by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). Faith can be difficult and sometimes even elusive. Grow your faith–Romans 10:17. We look beyond by faith and look for mercy. The use of the word “mercy” in the New Testament often involves people crying out to God for a gift of divine favor (Mk. 10:47; Lk. 16:24, 17:13; Rom. 12:8). Look beyond by faith into God’s merciful home. “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory which will be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).