When Winter is Long…Love

As I write this blog a polar vortex is tightening its grip outside, driving temperatures lower and piles of snow higher.  Groundhog Day has just passed where an oversized rodent has predicted six more weeks of winter (which is not groundbreaking news to anyone around here) and Christmas is behind us and as distant in the rearview mirror as the rest of 2013.

The truth is that this time of year can be hard…really hard.  It is February – or should I say Fe-blue-ary – where we are so susceptible to feeling discouraged, disheartened and trapped in the harshness of winter where daylight is shorter but days somehow feel longer.  It’s a tough month – no wonder why someone cut it short by a few days!

And yet, right in the middle of this difficult month is a day set aside to celebrate friendship, romance, and love…good old Valentine’s Day.   When I stop to think about it, what a strange time to celebrate love – right in the middle of the February Blues!

Strange, and yet perfect.  After all love shines brightest in life’s darkest hours.  It is easy to love when everything is going right, but true love still remains strong when everything else falls apart.

This makes me think of one of the most powerful scriptures in the entire Bible:

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

Think about what that means for just a second.  Let it sink in.  Soak it up.  Absorb its power and its truth for just a moment.  The depth of God’s love is shown in the fact that even when we are at our worst, God’s love for us remains.

Perhaps this is why February is the perfect time for Valentine’s Day.  It reminds us that true love can and should be celebrated even in the most difficult of circumstances.  With this in mind, Valentine’s Day is a reflection of the gospel message – a beacon of light in the darkness.  A day that encourages us to celebrate love no matter what life throws at us and a day to remember above all the love of God that never fails to meet us in our time of need.

So, no matter what kind of vortex you find yourself in this winter season, remember to take time to celebrate love.  It may not be easy, but winters not all bad – if nothing else it is a chance to be reminded of God’s love, a chance to bear witness to the gospel message and even more importantly, a chance to share that love with a world in need.