The Last Day of Winter

Walking down these northern streets, it doesn't "feel" like Spring.

I read and accept an invitation, "OPEN" to step out of the cold and into a world of color. 

Like crossing with Dorothy over a threshold, from a weary land of grey and into a world of color, I step out of Winter and into Spring.

I saw another invitation in the scripture this morning; here, it called to me again:

My beloved spoke and said to me,
"Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,...
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me."
- Song of Solomon 2
Some days I feel in such a funk, more than just a bad mood; it's captivity.

Instead of taking my thoughts captive, I am held captive by my thoughts, enslaved by bitter memories and regret that I just won't let go, that I don't know how to let go.
Especially on those days, the LORD whispers to me, "Come away.  Leave those burdens, and come with me!"  When I hear and accept His invitation, it's like stepping into a warm, fragrant florist shop, discovering an oasis in the middle of my cold, harsh winter world. 

He speaks the words I need to hear, "Grace is LIFE for you!"

"You have been grace; now, grace your world!!!"

"Grace the un-graceful or that is what you will become."

His invitation is life, freedom, and victory.  The power of the Resurrection is a doorway, an escape from barren thoughts into beauty.  

Is the story too familiar; because I'm 30 years "saved"?   Will I stand in the cold of my sin looking in as through a window at Spring because I've lost the wonder of the grace I've been given, because I've become un-graceful, critical, bitter, judgmental, cynical? 
Some things, like the fragrance of flowers, can not be experienced from a distance. Holding a grudge, having a critical spirit, or being too proud to apologize is a "small" thing, like peering through a thin sheet of glass, but anything between me and the Lord is "big" when it keeps me from life at its fullest.

Oh, friend, the view is so different up-close, on the other side of the pane.  Weary Christian, does it "feel" like winter in your soul because you won't let something go?  Does it feel like you're on the outside looking in, missing the "secret" to abundant life and victory?
The "secret" is drawing near, accepting his invitation to come away.  Letting all the entangling weeds of sin and pride go and walking in the New Life of His presence.  Even in the winter seasons of the soul, it is always Spring in the Holy Place of prayer.  (Confession, Thanksgiving, Praise, Intercession, ... these are seed that continually bloom into flowers of freedom, contentment, perspective, and miraculous provision in the greenhouse of His presence!) 
His will for us is fruitfulness, not barrenness; victory, not defeat; joy, not despair.

Put an end to the "just get by" mindset. We don't have to stay out in the cold another moment, believing the lie that "this is all there is". 
Come inside, come away; come to a quiet place!
He has saved us, graced us, and offered us freedom!  Accept it and give it!

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