When I was a young child, every winter my dad would repeat something he heard his mom say, "Once you make it to January 19th, you have winter licked." I never asked him exactly what she meant, I figured it meant something like spring was just around the corner. But my dad grew up in the far north of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Winter's there are very snowy and long. His mom grew up in northern Finland, so both my dad and grandmother experienced long winters. Spring is not just around the corner from January 19th in the kinds of winters they experienced! Finally, this year, I know what she meant.
Having winter licked doesn't mean that it's almost over and you're almost done with it. What it does mean is that it no longer holds power over you. By January 19th, your body is, for the most part, adjusted to the colder temperatures and the snow. You're accustomed to the shorter daylight hours and you're used to wearing the extra clothing required. It's not that you've conquered winter by making it go away, but you've adjusted to it, accepted it, and are enjoying life. You realize that you can do this. You can make it through, and not with an attitude either. All the while you know that spring will come--it won't be winter forever. Not even in northern Michigan!
This is the kind of thinking we need to have when we are going through difficult times. We don't gain anything by fighting against the seasons of life that come our way. Each season has a purpose for us, and a preparation for the next season. I'm not talking about the troubles that your adversary, the devil, tries to trap you into and defeat you with. I'm talking about the seasons of life that God leads you through. Learn how to live this season with praise on your lips and a grateful heart. Before you know it, Spring will come.
For behold, the winter is past
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived
for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove
has been heard in our land.
The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom
have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one,
And come along!
Song of Solomon 2:11-13