Rejoice . . . even when winter won’t end

As I write this, winter is pummeling the Midwest—again. On Sunday, April 15 (affectionately labeled by a friend of mine as January 105th), some parts of Wisconsin officially had their biggest snowstorm in 130 years. Baseball games, soccer matches, track meets, worship services, and schools are cancelled because of the sleet and snow. 

Normally I’m prone to complaining about terrible weather, but for the past few weeks I’ve been remembering the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I use this passage when things are going the way I would like for them to go. But when things I can’t control (like the weather) don’t meet my standard of good, rejoice, pray, and give thanks turn into grumble, moan, and whine.

So I’ve been looking at this seemingly never-ending winter as an opportunity to do God’s will. I rejoiced at how pretty the trees were. I gave thanks for my fuzzy blanket and technology that allowed us to watch a sermon on YouTube since we didn’t get our driveway cleared out soon enough to attend church. Admittedly, praying was complicated because my prayers might have sounded like this little boy and his request. So I wasn’t sure how to pray. 

Then I realized that I can make it through this week because there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually the weather has to get warmer. What humbled me was thinking about people whose struggles don’t have a quick resolution. They suffer from chronic illness, others are descending into Alzheimer’s, some bear the exhaustion of caregiving, and many have their energy sapped by depression. 

That’s when I realized how I could pray continually. And you can too. This week, pray for those who are facing tragedy and trouble with no end in sight. And remember that Jesus, the only true hope in this world, is praying for them too. Then call, text, or message them. Encourage them. Love them. And pray with them. 

Want us to pray for these people with you? Leave a prayer request in the comments or on our prayer wall!

Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who even gave thanks for the ability to shovel wet, heavy snow.

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