It’s official…I really don’t like January. I don’t like that it is so cold, so grey and so depressingly dark. I don’t like everything being damp all the time. I don’t like days, even weeks without sunshine and I really don’t like the way spring feels so very far away.
It’s strange really, because January should be a time for new beginnings. It’s the start of a new year full of possibility, resolve and adventure. It’s a time where we decide that this year, everything will get better. I certainly felt raring to go when on 28th December (with a mince pie and glass of wine and some residual Christmas Spirit), I sat down to think about my goals for 2018. Reality bit hard though when my alarm woke me for work at 6am on January 2nd
I wonder if there are ‘Winter People’ out there. Those rare folk who love the blustery grey days of January. People who really do approach the new year with vim and vigour and who haven’t broken all their resolutions by the time the Christmas decorations come down. If there are, I am not one of them, and I am not sure I have ever met one.
Nevertheless, in spite of how things may appear today, in the blink of an eye it will be spring again. Quietly and secretly, nature is doing its thing. With absolute certainty, and with no help from anyone, the whole northern hemisphere will come back to life in just a few weeks from now. There’s an inevitability about the seasons that is strangely comforting on a bleak, January day. Even as I write, I’m watching a couple of wood pigeons sitting patiently in a tree in my garden. It’s as if they have arrived early to beat the spring rush; they know that life is just around the corner and they are just getting themselves in the best position to enjoy it.
It’s not that difficult to encourage myself on days like today. The fact is that I know that with Jesus, there’s always life just around the corner. I am sure that Mary and Martha thought that they would never laugh again when they placed their brother’s body in the tomb, but then Jesus arrived. He called out to his friend Lazarus and life strode out of the darkness of the grave. The truth of the matter is that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He’s all about life because death has no claim on him. I can be confident then, that because I belong to Jesus, death has no claim on me either.
January won’t last forever and before I know it, I’ll be back in t-shirts and flip flops. Come to think of it, this morning when I took my daughter to school, I noticed something…my daffodils have started to sprout.
Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
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