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“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance…”

– Romans 5:3

Yesterday we talked about not asking too many questions when we are in the winter seasons of our lives. Today, I want to share another thing that will help us as we navigate the challenging times we face: be present in suffering.

I have told the story before about a boy and a silver ball on a string, and it really speaks to the point I want to make today. It’s a Russian tale and it begins with a school-aged child who meets a fairy as he’s walking into the forest. During their encounter, she gave him something; although it looked like a simple silver ball on a piece of string, it was really a magic wand that enabled him to pull the string and fast forward through unpleasant parts of his life. While all went well after first receiving the gift, as he was able to skip boring lectures and have perpetual summer vacations, the years of the young man’s life began to go by very quickly. With hardly any notice, he was at the end of his days, hunched over, and weak in body and mind. In that state, he encountered the fairy again. As she inquired as to whether he had enjoyed the magic wand she gave to him in his youth, he expressed sadness at how fast his life had passed him by. Being merciful, she agreed to grant him one more wish…and you guessed it, he wished to not have the gift and to live through every part of his life, even the unpleasant winter seasons.

Friend, the same is true for you. I encourage you to embrace every difficult wilderness experience you go through. Don’t try to distract yourself or look for ways to hurry the process; instead, be present in the suffering. Be there, don’t be somewhere else, and allow the Lord to fully immerse you in His presence when you feel the weight of the winter. Though it is heavy, it is beautiful, and it offers you a wonderful opportunity to learn about the faithful and long-suffering love of God. You are a child of changing seasons, so don’t run from the wilderness; instead, allow Jesus to meet you there in the fullness of His grace and sufficiency!

Prayer


Teach me, Lord Jesus, to embrace the wilderness and winters of my life. I know that you are always with me and I trust you to bring your warmth to my coldest days.

Reflection


How can you practice being present in suffering? Which winters has Jesus already brought you through?

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