“See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”
SONG OF SOLOMON 2:11-13
Silence. Separation. Uncertainty. A bleak winter that seemed like it would never end.
This is probably what the people of God experienced between what God said in the book of Malachi (the last book of the Old Testament) and the birth of Christ. Generations had come and gone without a prophet of the Lord rising up and proclaiming a new Word from God. Can you imagine what that was like? Surely, it seemed like God had forgotten the Israelites. It might have seemed like they were too far into their sin, beyond redemption and hope, to hear anything from the Lord. How many prayers went up during those quiet centuries, asking God what was going on?
The Christmas story is the breaking of that winter, the changing of the season, the launchpad into something new. When it felt like God was distant, when it felt like He had abandoned humankind, He was actually just waiting for the right time to appear, bringing an end to the questions, worry, and silence. Galatians 4:4-6 puts it this way: “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”
God hadn’t forgotten about His people. He hadn’t skipped over “Send a Savior to the world” on His to-do list. He had an answer to the silence, a solution to sin, and healing for brokenness — but He also had an appointed time at which the Savior was to arrive. God works in the waiting, and His schedule will always be better than ours.
What are you waiting on today? You may feel stuck in a winter right now. This Christmas may be the first one you’re spending without a loved one. The gifts under the tree may be a little bit sparse due to a job loss or furlough. You might be waiting on a breakthrough — any sort of answer or redemption to questions and worry that have been floating around in your mind. That’s not an easy place to be, but you’re not alone in it. God brings the springtime, but He also waits with us in the winter.
Today, know that God has not forgotten about you. His silence does not mean His absence. He is the One who can break the winter of our souls.
In the midst of uncertainty, in the midst of waiting, perhaps the best thing we can do is heed the last words of Song of Solomon 2:11-13: “Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” What if we thought of this as Jesus’ invitation to us to continue walking with Him through the winter storm? If He really is the Savior, Healer, and Redeemer, isn’t He someone who is more than able to lead us through our waiting and worry?
Lord Jesus, what may feel like an eternal winter for me right now is something You see, You know about, and that out from which You can bring newness. In the most difficult moments of my life, remind me that You’re there with me, and that Your ways and thoughts are higher than my own. Amen.