Summer…the hotter the better…I am an avowed lover of all things summer! Once we’ve cleared the Christmas season, where cold weather is a fitting accompaniment to the snowy holiday songs, if there’s no hope of a lovely little snow day, then January and February stretch on and on in endless unpredictability; sunny and warm one day, cold and rainy the next. So I’ve been known to look at the bare trees with a bit of a snarled lip. The beautiful green leaves that soften the landscape for so many months are no where to be found… and I miss them.
This particular picture caused me to pause and think a bit more generously about wintertime. As I stood in the middle of a beautifully wooded path near the river, I was struck by the lines of the bare trees around me. Unseen when covered in their leaves, these branches…the support system for all things shady for much of the year. Without their foliage, I can see the structure and lines, somewhat like beautiful architecture against the cold blue sky.
When life, with its hard places, strips away our own leaves, James 1:2-4 reminds us that that we can keep going; “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
When you’re down to the bare branches, be grateful for what remains. A strength and structure that supports you through good times and bad. Good bones.