For now the winter is past;
the rain has ended and gone away.
The blossoms appear in the countryside.
The time of singing has come,
and the turtledove’s cooing is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs;
the blossoming vines give off their fragrance.
Arise, my darling.
Come away, my beautiful one.
Song of Songs 2:11-13 (HCSB)
Driving to work yesterday, I listened to a talk radio host lament on the saga of an unending winter. It had been nearly 70 degrees where she is located a few days earlier, and this particular morning it was in the twenties with remnants of yesterday’s snowstorm all about her. I feel her pain– as it has been a long, hard winter for most of us in the northeast section of the United States. Now, of course, there are those readers who would be quick to point out that we have it much better than many people in other areas of the world (and I am not referring to economic status, either–merely a climate comparison). While that is true, it does not negate the fact that this has been a long, hard winter for many. Snow removal has been costly, draining resources from municipalities that were not prepared for the volume of storms, heating costs have risen, accidents have been plentiful– as people try to reach their destinations with either skills or vehicles ill-equipped for the task. I took off the rose-colored glasses years ago, having learned to acknowledge that some things just stink. OK, I’m done complaining– for now. Read on, please…
The truth is that we must go through tribulation and tough times to appreciate the good. It somehow prepares us to appreciate with more fervor the wonderful, beautiful things of this earth. Spring would have little meaning if it lasted all year long. Summer, with its warm hazy days filled with beaches, ponds and picnics would be hum-drum if it were not interrupted by falling leaves and frost-filled nights.
I shall leave you with some wisdom from the Bible that has been the basis for a song or two: for everything there is a season–
There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (HCSB)