Today I woke to a gray sky. Most of the leaves had long since blown off the trees exposing dark limbs. Snow covered the lifeless ground. Depression knocked on my wreathless door. Uninspiring and unmoving, this winter day felt bleak. I wondered why unlike bears that hibernate or caterpillars that cocoon, God made humans so we continued cognizant through the long winter. I reached for the old reliable cure that has worked through the ages. Even King David, in the book of 1 Samuel 30:6 is said to have “strengthened himself in the Lord.” I wonder if his personal quiet time looked a little bit like mine today.
Prayer journaling~ This morning my faith felt weak. I needed strength. As I took up my prayer journal, I confessed this weakness to God. I sat in my blue recliner, pouring out my heart to God on the page. I wrote, “I feel like a wilted brown leaf blowing in the winter winds. I need your touch. I need your sunlight. I need your love and comfort.” Somehow the physical process of writing, seeing the ink fill the empty void and watching the pen move across the page felt so validating. There were some things I needed to tell God and get off my chest. I shared them honestly. I then wrote praises to God and some things for which I felt thankful.
Bible studying~ I paused for a moment and tried to figure out what passage of the Bible to study. This morning, I felt so uninspired. Nothing seemed to jump out at me. My husband said he studied from 1 Kings. I flipped to 1 Kings then paged over to chapter 18 starting at verse 16. In my mind’s eye, I was up on Mt. Carmel and watched as Elijah set up a contest between the true God and the false gods the people were worshiping. There was an altar and a sacrifice. “The god who answers by fire-he is God” (v. 24). It was almost 1,000 false prophets against Elijah. As all the people from the nation looked on, I watched the prophets of Baal dance and wail and even cut themselves. This went on all day. No answer. Elijah’s turn came. He called the people near. He drenched the altar with water three times. Then he prayed, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God…” I then watched God answer with fire so hot it devoured the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the soil, and the water. God spoke to my heart about having the quality of faith that places God on a stage to let him work. On my journal page, I scrawled a prayer for God to let my testimony cause people to shout as they did on Mt. Carmel, “The Lord- he is God! The Lord- he is God!” (v. 39).
Singing~ As I moved into intercession for others, I took up my guitar and sang, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. I thought of how faithful God was, through every season. Even winter.
Praying for others~ I took out my prayer list and started praying. It helped focus my eyes on others needs. I emerged from my quiet time refreshed.
If you have the winter blahs take time to write a prayer to God. Study a favorite story from the Bible. Sing a song to God. Pray for others. This time-tested cure has worked for centuries. Likely, it will work for you.