This particular winter, I saw mostly gloom, dread, severe cold, life not thriving, short days. It marked a period of death, mourning, loss, and pain. All over the world and nearby, there are believers who intentionally pray for those who suffer and routinely send prayers and encouragement to people on their email or cell phone contact list. I am so grateful for each one I have received as God has used every single one to uplift me just one more notch each time. Could the cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1) consist not just of members of the Hall of Faith (Heb 11) but also of the believers on the same journey (our spiritual companions who were given the same time frame in the mini-span of eternity as us) who pray us toward the Father? I have experienced the love of Jesus through such persons.
My friend, Steph in particular, has prayed with me daily through my season of grief (except during her brief vacation). God used her to speak hope and faith, surrender and forgiveness into my heart. I heard God’s encouragement and compassion through her voice. Her prayers gave me the vision amidst trial that God’s plan is to prosper me, to give me hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). Last Christmas, she gave me a tray with a rose design in the sweetest shades of pink.
It struck me as a visual reminder that winter would soon end and spring would soon be here. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).
The song written by Amanda McBroom, The Rose, came to mind:
“Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snow, Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love, in the spring becomes the rose.”
If I could change it, my version would say, “With the Son’s love, in the spring, becomes The Rose”. Incidentally, Jesus is symbolically referred to as “The Rose of Sharon”. The eternal, unmatched hope in Jesus is precisely for the brokenhearted. Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of yourself!
Luke 4 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah <Chapter 61> was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
SONG: TRADING MY SORROWS (Women of Faith)