Today, the first official snowfall happened in Chicagoland. Or, as we like to call it "The first and least of many to come."

I have traditionally had a hard time with winter - I love golfing and running and the snow, ice, and bone-chilling cold of Illinois tends to derail those habits. I start to put on some weight, lose my drive to get out and get going, and the rhythm of life gets stalled.

But lately I've come to appreciate winter - it's deep calling to warm, comfortable places, the beautiful paradox of eye-tingling white snow and spine-cracking cold chills. I believe the reason I'm coming to terms with it is because I see parallels between the onset of winter and the rhythm of our lives of being formed into Christlikeness.

Seasons in our life with Christ will change, and we will experience the pain of overlaps in transition. Those things once growing will now slowly become dormant, those things once easy (like driving and walking on sidewalks) will increase in difficulty. There is nothing more to do than to embrace these feelings, thoughts, and realities and place them in submission - captivity - to Christ.

As winter begins to settle in, embrace it. Embrace the changes and let your disciplines of drawing near to Jesus be shaped by the emotions and struggles that the cold brings. Lament the difficulties in prayer, read the wilderness passages (like in Luke 4:1-13) and understand that the desolation you feel in the cold moments are moments where God will prepare you for the times when green grass will peak through the cold snow of your soul, reminding you that even when all feels dead God brings life out of dead places.

Peace friends.

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