Well, the frosts have well-and-truly arrived, and along with them the cold winds, and occasional snow and sleet flurries. Some of our days have that beautiful vivid winter blue sky, but mixed with them are the short days and lazy breezes that push straight through to the skin.
For most of us it is the sad repeat of a dreary cycle. The leaves have fallen, and the verdant greens have been replaced with stagnant browns. The pools of water that once spoke to us of refuge and peace now fill us with a dread of hypothermia!
Now, I know that some like winter, love it in fact. They speak passionately of icy sparkles, sharp light, crispness and invigoration in joyful tones to what must be acknowledged is a small circle of fellow winter enthusiasts (we still love you even as we stamp our feet and grump into our coat collars). I might not share your joy in the temperature, but all of us together can, and should, be caused by the cycle of the seasons to think on the power and provision of God, his grace and consistency.
The writer of Ecclesiastes sees it rightly (although our Bible translators struggle to express it well). In chapter 1 the writer reflects on the world – “The sun rises and the sun sets and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes ever returning on its course.”
The cycle of days and seasons is on view, and many see it as monotony – but look again at what the author sees, and the challenge it puts to his cry of “meaningless” (better translated as “breathy”). He sees the things of man as temporary, but the things of God stand as consistent and ever reliable.
Winter is here again, with its winds, ice, and resting grass. Winter is here in stark contrast to summer. It reminds me of the different seasons of life and eternity, and it points me to the masterful providence of God in both consistency and diversity. The seasons we experience point toward a consistent variety and organised difference – thanks be to God for the seasons of the year and of life.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.