Everything in creation runs in cycles and seasons. A cycle is a period of beginning and ending, and then beginning again, or a circle. It is evident in things as diverse as the operation of our bodies, to the solar system and the financial system to the working of an engine. There are cycles within cycles in every aspect of life. Youth follows childhood, manhood follows youth, and then old age precedes death, which precedes the Resurrection!! Fall follows summer with its glorious color and crystal clear atmosphere celebrating the end to Summer, the time of growth, and readying the creation and our lives for the pruning and strengthening by the tests of winter, which prepares us for the resurrection of Spring. Each cycle is preparing for the next. Around the throne of God, Ezekiel saw “wheels within wheels.” The Bible said that as long as the earth exists there will be seedtime and harvest. Then there is the much greater circle of time in eternity.
When Summer fades into Fall and Fall into Winter, God prepares his creatures on earth for the coming cold. The summer coats have become dry and sunburned and it is time for a change. The waning light causes the outside animals to grow long wooly coats. The long hairs have beneath them shorter hair that frizzes up and forms a wind and water barrier and traps the body’s heat. When the winter wind ruffles the long hairy coats of the horses they scarcely resemble the sleek creatures of summer. Long hair hangs from their chins and sometimes icicles clatter from their fetlocks as they walk.
In many ways, winter is testing time. A rest comes to the growing things and the weak things are pruned away. Perspective is gained as we compare the quietness of winter with the warmth of Spring’s resurrection and the peace of summer.
On the farm, we agonized over the vanishing strands of winter rye that we had over seeded our brown pastures. It grew so slowly or not at all. In fact, it retreated before the grazing animals. It seemed impossible that soon, in another season, this vanishing carpet of green would come leaping from the earth again. It could not be held in check by the grazing horses and we would have to attack it with the tractor and bush hog. Life on the farm was hard in the winter. Often water pipes froze and we would have to haul water from the river in garbage cans in the back of the truck. It seemed so futile as much of it would splash out as the truck lurched over the frozen road on its way back to the barn, but it would be so nice to sit by the fire and warm our icy fingers. Life went on and we knew Spring was coming!
Soon the dead black limbs of the trees would burst forth in flowering glory, rejoicing that the night of winter was over. The mares would drop their hairy coats for sleek and shiny ones of spring. Little colts and calves would pop up everywhere. The barren mares would take new hope that now even they could recreate themselves.
As we walked the long distance from the barn back to the house on many a cold winter’s night we could see the lights beckoning in the distant windows of our beautiful house. No matter how long and hard and cold the day, there was hope in our hearts for the house held warmth, nourishment and rest. It was a promise to me that at the end of the winter of old age here on earth that we will see the lights of our heavenly home beckoning to us. At the end of every winter season in our lives, there is Spring, or home, or the Resurrection and finally entering our eternal home and the fulfillment of all the promises of God. The cycle of life is completed again!