I am not a fan of winter. Cold weather, layered clothing, and dreary skies just don’t appeal to me.
Snow makes it more tolerable, at least from a visual standpoint, but snow is really cold and really confining. Not that we get a lot of snow most years anyway.
No, around here winter is usually just gray. Bare, bleak, dismal gray. But there’s actually something very remarkable about that awful gray bleakness!
Perhaps I’m noticing it more because we’re new to this area. We moved here just over 9 months ago, so this is our first winter in a new house in a new town. When we came to live here it was springtime, and the town was greening up nicely and all the trees and plants were filling out. The world looked very different then.
But all of that was stripped away by December. And now I’m seeing things I never saw before.
Like the giant house on the hillside I never knew existed. Seriously. I had driven by it at least a dozen times, but had no idea it was there! In summer it was cloaked by trees and bushes and brush — an enormous house close to the road, but lost in the lushness of the woods.
Now as I drive along, I find myself looking for such things, seeking the hillsides and valleys for treasures that were hidden by summer’s growth, but are plainly visible now: A beautiful log cabin with a stone fireplace. A pretty little walking trail through the woods. A lovely pond. An old barn. A forgotten antique tractor. An old stone fence in disrepair.
The bareness of winter is bleak, but it’s also revealing. And what it reveals can be surprising. And pretty amazing.
Sometimes our lives take us through some bleak and barren places, where growth and color and beauty seem hard to find. And yet if we take the time to look, we will see amazing things that are visible only because of the bleakness.
Often it is in the gray places that God reveals His love in the greatest ways. We catch special glimpses of His grace and blessing. We may feel His presence or be reassured of His love in a special way. Truths in His word may seem to shine where they seemed hidden before. We can be made more thankful for things we took for granted in the past, and see the good in things and in people that we might easily overlook in a world that is bright and warm and colorful.
The gray places of our lives can reveal some beautiful things. We can be drawn to know and love our Savior better when we learn to see the treasures in the bleakness.