God Is Busy in the Winter Too

God Is Busy in the Winter Too

"By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast."—Job 37:10

Many birds migrate south to escape cold. Many people go to Florida from the North for the same reason.

What is God doing in the frozen North from December to April? Obviously he puts many of his creatures to bed—such as the bear. They snooze away week upon week, rousing now and then to get in a more comfortable position.

From all appearances much of nature might be completely frozen. But not so.

Under many ice-covered streams water still flows. Beneath heavy sheets of ice, often two feet thick, on the lakes, the whole fish world goes about its business unless interrupted by fishermen.

Despite the apparent inactivity about woods, fields, and streams God is very busy preparing for spring and summer.

First, there is the important question of water supply for the next growing season. It is during the winter that the deep levels of water supply are put in. Winter rains and melting snows sink slowly downward. Next spring plants will send their thirsty roots deep to bring this moisture back. Also, by a mysterious process we call "capillary action" this same water will come upward to be used by shallow-rooted plants. Unless a sufficient supply of water falls and sinks in the form of rain or snow, farmers will have hard, cloddy ground to plow in the spring, and seeds won't sprout for lack of moisture.

Above ground in bushes and trees millions upon millions of tiny buds are preparing for their sudden burst when warm weather comes. They may look dead with their scaly crust. But this is only their winter overcoat, specially fitted to prevent moisture from entering, freezing, and splitting the precious bud. Slowly but surely the bud inside is maturing—dividing and subdividing itself. Comes spring and warm weather—and presto—like magic—these buds appear from nowhere.

So dreary does the landscape look in winter sometimes that we might imagine that God has deserted the world. The ancient Norsemen called cold "evil" and the sun "good." The return of spring signified to them the triumph of good over evil. Their winters were so long and hard you really couldn't blame them for this false belief. Besides, they hadn't been told of the one true God.

But winter and summer, cold and warmth, sleep and activity—all these are part of God's plan. Because of the cold season plants grow sturdier. Frost action on plowed ground breaks up clods and makes fields just right for seed growth.

In our own lives good often comes disguised as evil or in some form we find unpleasant. Boys and girls yearn for the day when they will be great leaders—when they can show to the world what they believe and what they can do. They find waiting hard. They want to grow up faster than Father Time will allow.

But now while you're young is just the right time to lay up rich treasures of a strong body, a well-trained mind, solid habits of work, worship, and play. Then, someday in due time these will all come to the surface. The better you live now, the finer adult you will be. Just as God works with nature all winter, so he prepares you now for some great work in the future.

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