Bright yellow daffodils are blooming. The sky is blue and the air warm. Heavy winter coats have been gladly packed away for next year. Spring is finally here.
But for some, it’s still winter. For those who grieve, have deep sorrow, gripping fear, or struggle with pain, though the sun shines above them, inside their heart, the darkness of winter lingers. The cold fear, the thick fog of despair, and the heavy darkness of grief remains from one season to the next.
I’ve been through long seasons of winter in my heart. Though everyone around me enjoyed the bright rays of joy’s light, I lived trapped in a perpetual winter. It lasted so long I nearly forgot what the warmth of happiness felt like or the peace of a cloudless day.
Sometimes winter lingers. There seems to be no end in sight to our trials. We cry out to God and he seems silent. We feel weak and desperate. We wonder, how long? Will this ever end? What if life is like this forever?
The Psalmist in Psalm 13 felt the same way. He cried out to the Lord, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2).