As I walk among the barren trees in November, my first thoughts are sad. The trees are brown, empty, and appear to be dead. There are no flowers, no warmth, and no fruit. A gloomy season can be depressing. For a moment, I want to return home to hide under a big warm blanket until life is colorful again.
But the trees aren't hiding. In fact, they aren't dead either. They are in dormancy. Sure, the leaves have died off and the branches appear naked and brittle. Dare I say vulnerable? These branches might easily break during a wind gust. But the roots that are firmly planted in the foundation are very much alive, and the trees will live off their stored food during this season.
Trees were created to withstand the changes that are imminent. Dormancy is much like the hibernation process: everything slows down but does not die. During this period, trees are preparing for new growth. They need this temporary season for rest and replenishment. In a few months - when they're ready - they'll begin to bloom again. The brown branches will be painted with hearty green leaves, beautiful and vibrant. Some trees will flower and produce a sweet and refreshing aroma. There will be a new season for all to enjoy.
Our lives are a lot like trees. We experience seasons much the same way. There are times when we become tired, weak, and brittle. We are vulnerable to life's storms. We become desperate for respite and renewal. But as long as our roots are planted deep into a strong foundation and we've nourished our souls with hearty food for these delicate seasons, we will bloom again.
Look back at prior seasons of your life. How did you feel? What did you learn? Did your experiences in each season help you to GROW? Take the time needed during this dormancy, but don't stay in this season forever.
Let others see the strength and beauty within you.
Seasons change, in weather and in life. Are you prepared to withstand the gloomy season and emerge stronger and more beautiful than ever before? Perhaps one day, you will be the colorful, refreshing shade that comforts those who walk among you.