We talked yesterday about the importance of not asking too many questions during the winter seasons of our lives. Today, I want to provide another tip that can aid us in navigating the difficult times we are in: be present in your suffering.
I’ve previously told the story of a boy and a silver ball on a string, and it perfectly illustrates the argument I want to make today. It’s a Russian tale about a school-aged child who meets a fairy while roaming through the woods. She gives him a present during the encounter, which appears to be a simple silver ball on a piece of string but is actually a magic wand that allows him to pull the string and fast forward past difficult aspects of his life. While everything seemed to be going well at first, with the young man being able to avoid tedious lectures and enjoy endless summer vacations, the years of his life began to fly past. He was at the end of his days without warning, slumped over and mentally and spiritually weak. He ran into the fairy again in that state. He voiced his grief at how quickly his life had slipped him by as she inquired about whether he loved the gift she had given him. She offered to give him one more wish because she was merciful, and you guessed it, he wanted to be free of the wand and live through every aspect of his existence, including the dreaded winter seasons.
Friend, the same is true for you. I strongly advise you to embrace every challenging wilderness experience you have. Instead of trying to divert yourself or find ways to speed up the process, be present in the pain. When you feel the weight of the winter, be there, don’t be somewhere else, and let the Lord to thoroughly immerse you in His presence. It is beautiful, despite its weight, and it provides you with a tremendous opportunity to learn about God’s faithful and longsuffering love. So, child of the shifting seasons, don’t flee the wilderness; instead, let Jesus meet you there in all of His mercy and sufficiency!