The grey days of February stretch long, endless. The temperature on my outdoor thermometer registers cold. Yet . . .
I hear the bird chirp as the sun’s brilliance begins to lighten the sky, ever so slightly. Others soon join the song, echoing from the little woods. And they know something. In their rapidly-beating hearts, there is a sense of season.
Whether the birds anticipate that spring is near, I know not. But their voices resonate my own longing.
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
— Song of Solomon 2:11-12, NKJV
I acknowledge that winter is not yet past. There are weeks of uncertainty when rain may turn to ice and snow, when temperatures will chill my bones, when the gas logs will flicker to warm us in the house, and when we will bundle up to brave the outdoors.
But there is hope.
Hope. The confidence to look toward, to look beyond, to see with eyes of faith.
Though the winter is long and harsh and I am chilled to the bone;
Though the nights are dark too long and I wait for daybreak;
Though the winds blow branches from bare trees and I feel the breaking in me;
Though the grass is withered brown and I experience the strain of life;
Though the earth looks fruitless and I struggle to bring forth;
Yet I will hope in God my Savior.
I will take His offered courage, cling to His “fear not,”
And choose the joy in His salvation.
For God the Lord is my confidence, and He will lead me through the valleys and upward where the air is sweet and His strength becomes my own.
And spring will come.