February is such a talented month.
Despite being the shortest month of the year, it somehow manages to make itself feel like the longest…cold temperatures and dreary days make those 28 (or 29) days in February feel like an eternity.
I actually don’t mind the winter.
I love warm blankets, cozy evenings by the fire, and the beauty of fresh snow. But this year in particular it has felt like the dreary cold days are dragging by as I daydream of sunshine and warm weather. I’ve found my motivation lacking, my tiredness increasing, and my patience and joy easily depleted.
A quick google search describing the things I’ve been feeling tell me this is nothing to worry about. It’s normal. Definitely common. Psychology says its probably just Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD for short)…a “very common” mood disorder occurring in climates where there is less sunlight at certain times of the year. That makes sense. Gray days do make us feel kind of gray and blah ourselves. A lack of sunshine and vitamin D can cause us to feel less joyful than normal.
I guess the only solution is to up my Vitamin D and wait for May to arrive.
And then do the same thing for the same cold four months next year.
Spending a third of every year feeling blah isn’t really that bad I guess.
Friends, how hopeless does that sound!
But at this time of year, it is exactly what culture tells us is normal, appropriate, and expected. How easy it is to fall into the lie that our joy depends on the weather forecast or the outcome of a groundhog seeing his shadow (he did see it this year by the way…in case you missed it).
Vitamin D, sunshine light bulbs, or a beachside vacation can certainly be helpful and remind us of the life that will come in the spring. The grass, flowers, and trees won’t be dead forever, new life will come again! But these things should not be the primary things we look for when the weight of the cold and darkness are pressing in on us.
This year, I have needed God to remind me that my joy should be rooted in something much more stable than an ever-changing weather forecast. My hope must be more firm than the unpredictable temperatures. My happiness must depend on something more sure than sun rays. What good news that we can find joy and hope in Christ, His forgiveness of our sin, and the promise of eternal life to come!
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”
“These things I have spoken to you
so that My joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be made full.”
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you will abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Christ has brought us from death and sin to life and eternity with Him. The joy of that truth cannot be stolen by a blizzard or a groundhog and his shadow.
Spring will come again, and it will bring new, green life to a world that now only appears dead.
Until then, may we persevere and root our joy and hope in Him.