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Out of the Dark - Encouragement Café - February 16, 2017

Out of the Dark
By Paris Renae

Thursday, February 16, 2017

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

I have a sweet friend who adores winter, looks forward to the snow and fireside times. She doesn’t understand my constant desire to see blue skies and sunshine. I’ll take spring, summer, and fall – but winter is when all signs of life lay dormant.

Our lives are like that. We want the soft spring rains of renewal, the long slow days of summer, and the crisp of autumn where bank accounts grow, relationships are sweet, and life is full of beauty. But it is the winters of life that prepare us and grow us.

Eeewww, I really don’t like the stuff of preparation and growing. Always, ever hopeful that I’ve learned all I need to, experienced enough, don’t want to walk the yucky.  Someday --- someday all that growing will be done. For now I am an ambassador. Here to be a shoulder for some, a pat on the back to others, and a silent prayer warrior for still more. But I’m not good in those roles if I can’t relate. So, like all who travel the seasons of this life, I too must learn and grow to be useful in the hands of my Creator.

And what happens deep in the earth of winter? What are daffodil bulbs, maple tree roots, and wildflower seeds doing? Being prepared, getting just what they need to flourish when sun warms earth and they peek their heads up through the soil or put out a green shoot of new leaves.

In our preparation of: serious illness, loss of love that breaks us beyond shattered, hopes that disappeared as quickly as they appeared, there is a secret work in the soil of our hearts and souls. When we think God has most abandoned us, we will discover He was nearer than ever.

All this is on the other side: in spring I can see that He protected, in summer I will feel the warmth of exhaled relief, and in fall I will understand the comfort of maturing and growing.

Dear one, if you are in a time of winter, you are not alone. Nearer than your own breath is a God who cherishes you, a Savior who protects, and the Holy Spirit working in your very being - seeing you to eternal spring. He is calling you out of darkness to declare His praises - one faithful step at a time.

Father, we do not enjoy the winter times of this life, and we never will. Remind us again and again that You are not far, You are near to all who call on You. We call on You now, whether we are basking in summer or shivering in our winter, we call and ask that You increase our trust and give peace that passes understanding. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

© 2017 by Paris Renae, All rights reserved.

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