The winter has been redeemed for me. For years, winter was a season I hated. The plants died, it was cold, my favorite outdoor activities (hiking, swimming, reading outdoors, even gardening) were off the table. Sometimes the roads freeze, and this being Texas, you’re doubly stuck. We don’t have the equipment to de-icy our roadways. We huddle inside and wait it out.

It used to be that when the leaves turned and began to fall, I’d get sad. The good months were past, the long wait for bluebonnets had begun.

Then I became part of a cohort group of pastors that sought to learn from challenging spaces. One of our first experiences was a “Winter Gardening” class. Pfft- I thought- nothing grows in the winter. Touché. How wrong I was. I received an entire sheet of veggies that thrive here in the winter (but croak as soon as spring arrives!). I ran my finger down the list and saw it- lettuce! I eat a salad for lunch every day. Maybe I could grow some lettuce.

Last winter was my first attempt- a few little lettuce plants and some arugula. Success! At first I harvested enough for one salad per week. By the end of the season, it was a salad a day! When spring came I was…sad. How strange and wonderful to be sad that spring had come!

Now, every fall, I get excited. I check the nurseries to see if lettuce had come in. I plant and water and wait. Pretty soon, I have delicious daily salads. Winter has been redeemed.

There is a great quote that says, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Is there something: a season of your life, a time of the year, a place even, or a date that weighs down your heart? Ask God for help. See what you might “plant” to redeem that space or time. Scripture promises that God’s people are like
trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:2-3

Are you in a hard season? Even there, God promises fruit and joy.

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