The Gift of Winter

I love the winter and I love the cold.

Even though we had record breaking lows during the last week and I thought Mother Nature had lost it, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, winter is coming. Winter reminds me of roaring fires blazing in the brick fireplace, snowball fights in the school parking lot, and big oversized coats trimmed with gloves and scarves, attempting to hold in the heat. But with winter and all its now freezing temps, come beautiful things.

Beautiful things, such as flowers in the spring that pop up in the newly grown grass, the fields that will become filled with new crops creeping up between the hard dirt that the cold air left behind, and new life is found singing away in the tree that has amazing hues of green springing out from the branches. But winter brings so much more than the flowers, new green grass, new crops, and singing birds of spring.

Winter brings new life.

This last week my family began the daunting task of unpacking boxes, decorating the kids rooms, facing the scary experience of starting new schools, and the chance to create life in Shawnee. This is the time we had come to expect over the last few weeks. This is also the time that pulls our family closer, creates opportunities to lean on each other, and allows Lacey and I to hold our kids tight and express our love for our family.

In 2 Timothy 4:9, 13-21, the Apostle Paul was writing to Timothy about the things that he would like for him to bring upon his visit to him in prison:

Do your best to come to me soon. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds. You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.

 At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them!  But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.  Erastus remained in Corinth; Trophimus I left ill in Miletus. Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.

You see, it was in the cold dampness of what feels like winter that I had the amazing privilege to sit on our couch, blankets in tow and coffee brewing, in the house in which I get to create beautiful memories.

This scripture reminds me that even though Paul was being held captive and his surroundings were bleak, cold, damp, and dark; he was anticipating the new things that would come to him through the cold.

When I think about it, I find hope that even though I just started this journey in Shawnee that the cold will go away, the coat will get hung back up in the closet for next year, the crops will rise from beneath the sod, and the birds will begin singing the spring-like tune. But if it wasn’t for the feel of winter, these gifts would be much less amazing.

Thank you St. Paul’s UMC for making my family feel so welcomed. I look forward to Connecting, Serving, and Sharing with you, making memories and joining in this life together. This is the life!

Tim Boyer, Director of Student Ministries