(shared with permission from a friends facebook post)
“Since coming back from South Africa I have ‘felt’ an absence of God’s blessing in my life. (Note I have said ‘felt’) It’s not easy. In South Africa I felt God everywhere; if I was a tree, then my every branch, twig and leaf was alive with God’s presence and favor! However since being in the UK everything is totally different.
Walking in the forest yesterday, I saw the tiny leaves protruding from 100’s of little buds on a tree, a sign of the close of winter and the onset of spring. It reminded me that my spiritual life is a bit like that. I have been through a winter when outwardly there is little sign of God’s warmth and favor. I have needed to retreat into my roots and bunker down and trust!
The outward feelings and pleasure of summer times have become a longed for memory and I have wanted to go back to summer and not forwards into this winter!! However just as the cycle of the seasons of winter, spring and summer are necessary for abundant life in the trees and plants, so it seems its important for us to have times when all outward feelings and signs of God are absent!
We are left with our roots, which perhaps have suffered during the halcyon days of summer. We cannot see or ‘feel’ the repair work and development that is going on down there, deep inside our souls in the hidden unseen places. Hence we then can only walk ‘by faith’ and no more by ‘sight and feeling’. Sometimes the roots need to go down into soul soil that is hard and resistant, or tender and vulnerable. It hurts deep within. But ultimately necessary to change, transform and become who God wants us to be.
Do you feel God is silent, distant and even absent from your life? Perhaps it is a precious invaluable time for some root work and growth,which can only take place in a winter of ‘feeling and sight.’ In their time, 100’s of little green buds will emerge with the promise of happier days again!”