The difference a day makes

I’m one of those strange people who sort of enjoys cold and winter. When I had to be to work at 6 a.m., though, I hated winter, especially Illinois winters, when snow was practically a guarantee and the plow hadn’t reached my street by the time I had to leave. I have vivid memories of digging my car out of snowbanks, gripping the wheel for the 15 miles to work, shivering while the heater warmed up.

Things have changed. We live in Pennsylvania now, in a part of the state that is apparently immune to snow, at least so far this winter. I don’t work outside the home anymore so I usually don’t have anywhere to be, especially not at 6 a.m. And my husband typically digs our car out of snowbanks.

Winter’s not my favorite season, but I like the change it offers. The reminder that we’re in a different time of year, that something new and fresh is coming, if only we’ll hang on for a bit.

The kids and I took a walk around the block yesterday afternoon. We aren’t in the habit of doing that in winter because of the cold, but I just needed to get out of the house for a little while. When we reached the street that parallels ours, I noticed the temperature change and realized we were on the “wrong” side of the street because the houses blocked the sun. In summer, we relish this side of the street because it keeps us cool and protected from sunburn. But in winter, we need to be in the sun to stay warm.

I thought about the winters of my life, and how the cold, dreary, dark days made, and still make, me yearn for the Son and the Light. I’d be miserable, near death even, if I stayed in the shadows of winter.

And when life brings me summers, I need the respite and protection of the shadows. I think of the Psalms’ references to the shadows of the wings of the Almighty.

How good it is to have a God who both keeps us in the light when the days are dark and gives us protection under his wings in the heat of the day.

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