God, through the winter, is working grace in us, though now we may not see it. In this way we might liken winter to night. It is ominous because it is lightless. But if you’ve ever sat near a field on a hot summer night you can hear the corn growing. We are growing in the night. But to grow we must stand. We must endure the night. We must face the blinding snow. And amid it we must look to Christ in whom we are rooted and grounded.
In the fall I visited Lowe’s and spoke to the clerk about planting grass seed in a few places where my lawn is more dirt than turf. His advice was simple; don’t waste your time or money. Planting in the cold season (or just before) is counterintuitive and counterproductive. Grass and plants don’t grow in the winter. I left the store that day without seed but thinking to myself, there are some things that grow in winter. Several years ago, a friend sent me a book with Samuel Rutherford’s famous quip, “I see grace groweth best in winter.” Grace grows in winter, but what does that mean?
Life has ebbs and flows or seasons of summer and winter. Yes, there are transitions like spring and fall but they are just that, transitions. We are either moving into winter or out of it and into summer. These are the seasons of life. Some winters are hard. Some are harder than others. But God gives us winters in order that grace might grow. For that to happen we need to remain rooted during those months of bitter cold and biting snow. I like the tree analogy because we are prone to wander and seek the summer. A tree is rooted. Paul calls this withstanding and standing. But standing or staying rooted is hard. It means facing the snow rather than turning from it. Not everyone is used to that sort of thing. But if you faint in the winter your strength is small.