This was a hard winter. My hands froze nearly every day, and the heat stopped working in my apartment several times. I woke up cold, drove to work cold, walked to my building cold, came home cold, and went to bed cold. I felt fortunate to have a place to live and warm clothes to wear, but it was still miserable. Generally I hate cold weather unless it snows, but this year I just wanted the wintry precipitation to stop. On two separate occasions it was snowy and icy to the point that my brakes wouldn't work, and the roads were often really bad. I didn't feel well; getting anywhere was difficult; and frankly consistently deplorable weather eventually depresses me. It was the worst winter (weather-wise) I can remember, and I felt like it would ever end.
Yesterday I sat on the porch in my bathing suit under the sun then went swimming. The puffy white-clouded sky boasted an unreal shade of blue, and a light breeze gently moved the branches of surrounding trees. It was perfect. Summer has come. Today it is mid-70s and beautiful. I thought about how the weather transitioned from -11 degrees, two-pairs-of-mittens, slick sidewalks, and biting wind to 78 degrees, shorts, sunny skies, and barefoot ventures into the grass. But I couldn't exactly picture the progression. It didn't happen overnight, the temperatures randomly skyrocketing 90 degrees. Slowly but surely, the seasons changed, and now I can walk outside without wondering if my nose will still be attached to my face after I finish getting the mail.
Times of grief, misery, and pain are often like that. They say time heals everything, but we want instant results. Time doesn't move fast enough, but we know we shouldn't rush it. We pray for our winter to disappear with the rising sun, but the stupid groundhog keeps seeing its shadow. And we might yell at the sky and say we don't care if there's a time for everything; we don't want to experience the time for pain. But look at the ground; a patch of four-leaf clovers grows where before only rocks rested. You have overcome past difficulties. You've forgotten former pain; you need only look back and remember.
Winter changes slowly into spring. Pain often turns slowly into joy. You just can't predict your victories and defeats and pain and happiness on a calendar the way you can usually predict the seasons. But look back and see what the Lord has done and appreciate the four-leaf clovers. Know that the winters serve a purpose, too, and even in sub-zero temperatures, the Lord is good. One day soon the ice will melt into joy, and you'll be 78 degrees of happy once again.
"And now I'm sunny with a high of 75 since you took my heavy heart and made it light. And it's funny how you find you enjoy your life when you're happy to be alive." —Relient K